Scooters: how did they come about?

Scooters: how did they come about?

Ever wondered how the first scooter came about? What happened and how? Who is the person behind it?

When you look around, it is quite obvious that scooters are having their big comeback. Scooters have a rather simple construction and gained popularity easily even a long time ago. It is quite possible that many of our clients' parents and grandparents had one too. It is difficult to say who is the father of this fun invention but we do know that the prototype was a good o'balance bike. That's right!

It might be difficult to imagine but the very first scooter looked more like a balance bike than what we see these days on our sidewalks. Karl Friedrich von Drais was a German inventor and in 1813 he created "a thing" that he called a velocipede- you might have seen it in many black and white old photographs. A two wheeler with the front one being very large, and the one in the back- quite small. On September 1st, 1817, our man Karl rode 50 km on his "running machine" (that is how he called his velocipede initially). It took him 4 hours to get from one German town to another: from Karlsruhe to Kehl. The invention however was not met with great enthusiasm and the prototype of today's balance bike (--> hyperlink) was auctioned and sold for 5 German marks (don't ask us about the equivalent of today's Euro but surely it was not much)

It is quite plausible that another less known German inventor, inspired by von Drais, came up with an idea in 1817 to remodel the velocipede by getting rid of the seat and adding a deck instead. It is common knowledge however that during the Great Depression in the United States, many children would make by themselves some wooden constructions similar in shape to today's scooters.

A little Brit's toy

Walter Lines- a British teenager- is also often attributed with the invention of a scooter. In 1947, his father's company: Lines Bros Ltd (* blad w PL wersji: jest Linie Bros Ltd) was one of the biggest manufactures of toys and children's bikes. Some had claimed that the 15 year old created the prototype but since his father showed no interest in it, the product was never trademarked.

Fun Facts!

***W archiwach Narodowego Archiwum Cyfrowego (w jakim kraju?zakladam USA?) oraz Eleonore nie Eleonor Whitney. Dodalabym A. Erhart jesli to to slynne zdjecie :)

The National Archives in the United States are in possession of a collection of photographs featuring people on scooters- from different eras! One interesting picture from the year 1936 shows a famous American actress: Eleonore Whitney and the first female aviator: Amelia Erhart - together on a petrol scooter.

There is one incredible photo from the year 1934, depicting a group of boy scouts on the streets of Krakow, Poland. The boys are dressed as knights and five of them are walking with their scooters. The scooter was actually very popular in the 1950s. Later on, the skateboard took over. Thesedays, the scooter is having its revival, once again a fun and fashionable way to move around and stay active.