Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
Using a ' ladie's ' four wheeled velocipede, pre-war, to illustrate what variety may have been used for wounded. This was moved using one's arms, not pedals or just shoved along like some. Some genius must have gotten a good look at the growing list of maimed men and adapted our early bicycle-velocipede to give them freedom.
What does the invention and technological progression of bicycles have to do with medical care and the ACW? Nowhere do you see these kind of wonderful machines advertised for anything save fun, fitness and frolic. First making a serious appearance near the end of the 1700's, by 1810 ( or so, information in era books varies ), a velocipede had no pedals. A 2 wheeled scooter with a seat, you pushed it along by paddling your feet.
He's coasting on a later model, I think 1840 but it's a terrific illustration this machine appealed to the kid in all of us. Idea was, build momentum, coast down along flats and down hills. It's wonderful!
Hate to abbreviate too much history- inventors being what they are, velocipedes appeared in such divergent, crazily imaginative and eye popping forms it was clear we were smitten. The bicycle had arrived.
Dog is chasing a post-war model but you get the idea.
One of my favorites, enlarged because you can see spikes on the tires on this- from Frank Leslie's during the war, a little amazing the military didn't have a shot at using some form. It's an ice rider!
Wrecks were probably frequent but worth it. How much fun was this?
I'd go on if things didn't get serious in a big hurry. Velocipede races on canals, using boats powered by velocipedes were a ' thing ', children's velocipedes had wooden horse heads for handbars and wide seated 2 wheelers were sold for ladies. Then they were needed.
Sounds less like a wheelchair, which were around, more like someone brilliant put self propelled velocipedes to good use. Quite a few articles like this. 1861
This young soldier is just one more example- there are dozens. Before motorized wheelchairs, someone gave wounded soldiers freedom anyway. Love this stuff! If anyone comes across an image, please post? Like I said, have a feeling they looked like the ladies model, top of thread.
Apologies to Mid Century Life forum, thought this belonged in Medical Care, you know?