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However, this sketch was later determined to be a forgery, though many historical accounts written before this forgery was discovered still credit Da Vinci as the inventor of the bicycle.
One of the first, if not the first, credibly documented inventions of a folding bike is by an American inventor, Emmit G. Latta also invented a couple of folding tricycles around the same time as his folding bike and sold those patents to Pope as well. The significance of this bike will be explained a bit later.In the years that followed, the English were instrumental in moving bicycle technology forward culminating in the so-called "safety bike" (below right) in 1885 which resembles today's bicycles in form and function.The safety bike was so named because it was safer and easier to use than the large wheeled bikes that proceeded it, most notably the penny-farthing (below left).The actual first inventor of the folding bike may never be known with absolute certainty, but there are a few contenders.Interestingly, perhaps preceding the folding bicycle, was the folding tricycle since there are a few references to them dating from the 1880's from such companies as Bayliss Thomas in England and The Pope Manufacturing Company in the U. Englishman William Grout is often given credit for inventing the first folding bike in 1878 but from most accounts, his bicycle (a penny-farthing design pictured below) had a folding front wheel and a frame that disassembled. on September 16, 1887 and it was issued on February 21, 1888.First, there is the issue of what exactly constitutes a "folding" bicycle.
There are a few historical references to so-called folding bicycles but the descriptions of them sound more like "separable" or "break-away" bikes rather than true folders wherein the frame collapses in some manner while actually still staying attached to itself.
The Draisienne (below) had steering but still no pedals.
In 1860, Frenchman Ernest Michaux and his brother Pierre added a crank and pedals to the front wheel of their "Velocipede" (below) and we have what starts to look like a bicycle that we all would recognize.
The first of these was probably the "Celerifere" developed by a French count named Mede de Sivrac in 1790.
It consisted of two wheels connected by a beam and was decorated to look like a horse or a lion.
There have been many who have laid claim to the invention of the folding bike.