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.
|Date of birth|
|September 2nd, 1812|
A bicycle, often called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A bicycle rider is called a cyclist, or bicyclist. Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe and, as of 2003, number more than a billion worldwide, twice as many as automobiles. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children's toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, and bicycle racing. The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright, or safety bicycle, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling. The bicycle's invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods.