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Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Inventor

Kirkpatrick Macmillan (Born 2 September 1812 in Keir, Dumfries and Galloway; died 26 January 1878 in Keir) was a Scottish blacksmith generally credited with inventing the rear-wheel driven bicycle. According to the research of his relative James Johnston in the 1890s, Macmillan was the first to invent the pedal-driven bicycle. Johnston, a corn trader and tricyclist, had the firm aim, in his own words "to prove that to my native country of Dumfries belongs the honour of being the birthplace of the invention of the bicycle". Macmillan allegedly completed construction of a pedal driven bicycle of wood in 1839 that included iron-rimmed wooden wheels, a steerable wheel in the front and a larger wheel in the rear which was connected to pedals via connecting rods. A Glasgow newspaper reported in 1842 an accident in which an anonymous "gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design" knocked over a pedestrian in the Gorbals and was fined five British shillings. Johnston identified Macmillan as that gentleman. A plaque on the family smithy Courthill reads "He builded better than he knew." Yet MacMillan lived in Glasgow and worked at the Vulcan Foundry during  ( Wikipedia article )

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Personal facts

Date of birth
1812-09-02
Place of birth
Keir

Death

Date of death
1878-01-23
Place of death
Keir

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