Who invented the first bicycle … and why should it matter to us?
The first “bicycle” was invented in 1817 by German, Baron Karl von Drais. Technically, it was a velocipede, or 2-wheeled human-powered vehicle. It had no pedals … to operate it you had to run! For this reason, it was nicknamed “the hobby horse”.
It was constructed almost entirely from wood, with brass bushing and steel-rimmed wheels. As a result, it weighed around 48.5 pounds. For context, modern bikes weigh about half that.
In the late 1800s, the bicycle – very similar to today’s version – was introduced. The design featured a chain-driven rear wheel. Incredibly, they were manufactured using technologies from the sewing industry.
Bicycles have come a long way, but the engineering and design isn’t a modern invention. The first folding bike was created in 1878 in England, and thefirst battery-powered bicycle or ‘e-bike’ was patented in 1895!
So, why should Hexagon PPM – a company that is focused on transforming unstructured information into smart digital assets – care about the history of the bicycle? How could that possibly relate to visualizing, building and managing some of the most complex industrial structures and facilities?