Cycling History

Cycling Patents of Yesteryear: No. 1 – A. L. Knighten’s Home Trainer Racing Machine, 1896

The early invention of home trainers led very quickly to stationary bicycle racing as described by G. Lacy Hillier in the Badminton Library’s 1896 volume on Cycling.

In the winter home-trainer races are promoted by many clubs, the competitors pedalling away at top speed, whilst the excited spectators watch the progress of certain hands round the face of a dial—a contrivance put upon the market by Messrs. Hutchins & Hamilton, of Queen Victoria Street.

A tradition continued today in the Goldsprint competitions and the roller racing events organised in the United Kingdom by Rollapalooza.

Watching the riders progress on a dial was all very well but one Arthur Lionel Knighten of Oakham, County Rutland, England, came up with an ingenious idea that he no doubt thought would make racing on home trainers more exciting to watch. Having obtained Letters Patent in Great Britain in  March 1893, Knighten filed a patent in America which was granted on 12 February 1895 as patent US 534223 A.

Rather than recording the racers progress on a dial Knighten envisaged that spectators would enjoy a proxy version of the race with models representing each contestant progressing around a circular track as they were driven by the riders on stationary bicycles. Safety or any other form of cycle were to be raised from the ground and a system of pulleys drove the mechanism by connecting the chain wheel to the front wheel which transferred power to the machine. The model cyclists were to be jointed at the hips and knees so that they ‘pedalled’ round the track “as if the model cyclist was driving the model machine.” The home trainer and the corresponding model of a cyclist could be colour coded ” so that the spectators may readily discern from the models, the relative speed of the actual riders or contestants.”

Knighten didn’t claim a patent for the general concept of a mechanical racing machine but rather for various parts of the drive mechanism and supporting structure. Did crowds of spectators thrill to the spectacle while placing wagers? I like to think so.

Fig. I. A general view of the track, model cyclists on same, and two home trainer cycles

Fig. I. A general view of the track, model cyclists on same, and two home trainer cycles

Fig. IIa viewin elevation of part of the machinery connecting the home trainer cycles to the model cyclists

Fig. II A view in elevation of part of the machinery connecting the home trainer cycles to the model cyclists

Fig. III and IV, enlarged view of parts of the invention

Fig. III and IV, enlarged view of parts of the invention

Fig. V

Fig. V enlarged view of parts of the invention

Fig. VI

Fig. VI enlarged view of parts of the invention

Arthur L. Linton's signature

Arthur L. Linton’s signature

The patent illustration in full

The patent illustration in full

 

______

All images are in the public domain.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

arcaderagedotco.wordpress.com/

Comics on video games, movies and pop culture.

Brew City Sports Report

The Microbrewery Of Wisconsin Sports Talk

Defence-In-Depth

Research from the Defence Studies Department, King's College London

La Velocipedienne

bicycles, fashion, feminism

Coeur de vélo

Cycling and a Love of Bikes : Vancouver, BC

Susan Barsy

The New Jeffersonian

Maxine Dodd: Racing lines

Fast drawings with a few words...

fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Cycle Write Blog

My words, visions & trivia along the way

Cycling in a skirt

One life, some bicycles. A million possibilities, zero clue!

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

PedalWORKS

Speed is relative. Victory is fleeting. But the ride lasts forever.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

heritagelandscapecreativity

Exploring Time Travel of Place

ThorNews

Supplier of Norwegian Culture

Cycling Love

Sharing my love for cycling and bicycles

The Victorian Cyclist

A history blog on the joys and perils of cycling in Victorian Britain

cyclefucius

Zen and the art of uphill cycling - next stop, the top!

historywithatwist

Celebrating unusual history

Rhyl History Club

- a little look at the history of Rhyl

mikeaztec

Musings on current events and some of my recent works on medieval and late Roman history

The History of the Byzantine Empire

Over a thousand years of glory !

Bible on Tap

Theology, Philosophy, Culture, History, Poetry, & Beer.

SeanMunger.com

Official site of author and historian Sean Munger.

1870 to 1918

From empire to cataclysm

Rearview Mirror

Music, Film, Art, History and more....

Yesterday Unhinged

The Flotsam & Jetsam of Yesterday

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

%d bloggers like this: