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Overview | Importance
The importance of the inventor

Bild: Geared tricycle "The Dual" 1882
Geared tricycle "The Dual" 1882
Encyclopedias note since aeons that Karl Drais would have invented the precursor of the bicycle. When this was formulated the bicycle was the most modern means of personal transport and all alone with no motorcycle or automobile to be seen around. But meanwhile the motorcycle, the automobile and the aeroplane have evolved from it - the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics as is well known. Bild: Motorized tricycle by Benz 1886
Motorized tricycle by Benz 1886
From the stable tricycles of the Grand-Bi times was developed the motorized Benz tricycle, called Patentmotorwagen thereafter. No preceding innovation - not even the internal-combustion engine - was as important to the development of the automobile as the bicycle, wrote James J. Flink, American historian of the automobile, in 1988. But if the bicycle is the father of the automobile and the running machine the precursor of the bicycle, then Karl Drais is the olden father of personal transport without horse in quintessence.

The official history of the automobile always starts with the Fardier of Cugnot in 1768, a three-wheeled steam tractor for cannons. This was not at all meant to cruise alone and individually around town, but merely to have drawn cannons replacing horses! The official history of the automobile ignores the worldwide evolution of the bicycle and therefore has a gap of a hundred years that cannot be filled by the few steam omnibusses that aimed at paid collective transport by the way and again not at personal transport.

Heirlooms of the automobile from the bicycle are:
1. the vision of horseless personal transport
2. Lightweight construction and noncutting manufacturing, plus components:

Bild: Drum brake
Drum brake
Bild: Differential
Bild: Single sprung wheel
Single sprung wheel
Bild: Pneumatic tyres and shaft drive
Pneumatic tyres and shaft drive

© Sören Fink with scientific support of Prof. Dr. H. E. Lessing