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Overview | Fakes
Priority fakes against Drais

Since imperial Germany ignored the democratic inventor Karl Drais, neighbouring two-wheeler nations produced their own inventors just like that. Thanks to the results of the International Cycling-History Conferences since 1990 this priority fibbing collapsed with Karl Drais now being acknowledged as the inventor worldwide.
Bild: Baudry's fibbed two-wheelers
Baudry's fibbed two-wheelers
In France journalist Louis Baudry, who gave himself the noble addendum "de Saunier", made a start with his booklet ”Histoire de la Vélocipèdie“. He scribbled a lion- or horse-headed velocifer or celerifer on two wheels mounted rigidly and claimed that a comte de Sivrac had ridden this in 1791. In fact a Jean Sievrac received an import monopoly on a four-wheeled speed coach in 1817 that was called a velocifer or celerifer then. At once imperial Germany opposed this by "still older non-steerable two-wheelers from Nuremberg" and defined Karl Drais merely as the inventor of the steerable two-wheeler. But non-steerable two-wheelers cannot be balanced and existed merely as fakes on patient paper! The distinguishing feature "steerable" isn't necessary any more.

Bild: Church window of Stoke Poges
Church window of Stoke Poges
In England jokers made a line drawing of the church window of Stoke Poges more complete resulting in a rigid two-wheeler that they dated "1642". Yet the original window shows a one-wheeled way-wiser with a tail-skid as on a wheelbarrow!

Bild: Faked scribble in 1974: chain bicycle
Faked scribble in 1974: chain bicycle
Bild: Original back side till 1961
Original back side till 1961
The most recent fake came from Italy in 1974, the so-called Leonardo bicycle with a chain to the rear wheel. The scribble definitely isn't Leonardo's style and was not yet in the Codex Atlanticus in 1961.

Thus Karl Drais has invented the two-wheeler principle alone and without a precursor. There is no model for it in nature - like the maple seed for Leonardo's helicopter.

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