Necessity is the mother of invention: the bike is celebrating its 200th birthday

This week, 200 years ago, Karl von Drais rode his Laufsmaschine for the first time. The German baron rode his two-wheeled invention, a bicycle without pedals, five miles from the center of Mannheim and back in less than an hour—much faster than a horse. And that was the point. At the time the whole world was suffering from failing harvests and hunger because of the eruption, two years earlier, of the Mount Tambora in present day Indonesia. The eruption of the Tambora in 1815 put so much ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere that it turned 1816 into “the year without summer,” causing world-wide famine. Most of the horses were slaughtered because there was nothing to feed them or their owners, so they became dinner. That environmental disaster led to the invention of the bicycle.

 

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Necessity is the mother of invention: the bike is celebrating its 200th birthday

This week, 200 years ago, Karl von Drais rode his Laufsmaschine for the first time. The German baron rode his two-wheeled invention, a bicycle without pedals, five miles from the center of Mannheim and back in less than an hour—much faster than a horse. And that was the point. At the time the whole world was suffering from failing harvests and hunger because of the eruption, two years earlier, of the Mount Tambora in present day Indonesia. The eruption of the Tambora in 1815 put so much ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere that it turned 1816 into “the year without summer,” causing world-wide famine. Most of the horses were slaughtered because there was nothing to feed them or their owners, so they became dinner. That environmental disaster led to the invention of the bicycle.

 

Solution News Source

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