06 Jun 2016
The ‘hobby' or 'dandy horse' was the forerunner of the bicycle and was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais in France in 1817. It was introduced to England the following year by Denis Johnson, a coachmaker of Long Acre, London, who described it as a 'pedestrian curricle'. Hobby horses had no pedals, but were propelled by the rider pushing on the ground with his feet. As there were no brakes, the feet had to be dragged to slow the machine. Johnson started a school where prospective purchasers could learn how to ride the machine, and in 1819, fashionable London society was briefly gripped by a craze for riding a hobby horse. This model came from Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and belonged to the 5th Duke of Marlborough (1766-1840).

You might think that an invention as simple as the bicycle would have an uncomplicated past. But as it turns out, this highly popular invention has a history fraught with controversy and misinformation. While stories about who invented the bicycle often contradict one another, there’s one thing that’s certain — the very first bicycles were […]

06 Jun 2016
Unicode

Timeline 1817 Baron von Drais invents the Draisine (also known as a Hobby Horse or Swift-Walker), an improved celerifere than can be steered with handlebars.  Draisine   1839 Kirkpatrick MacMilan of Scotland adds cranks and treadmills to the rear axle of a two-wheeled vehicle, but gains only local notoriety. 1858 Pedals are added to the […]

06 Jun 2016
backpack

What’s in your backpack? A well-stocked pack can help you make your day at Disneyland, Six Flags or Universal Studios a more enjoyable one, providing you with the stuff you’ll need to stay healthy and comfortable. Well-chosen supplies also can help prevent minor annoyances from becoming day-wrecking disasters. Yet, unless you’re the new owner of […]

06 Jun 2016
amusement

Amusement parks have come a long way since Coney Island’s Switchback Railway roller coaster ushered in the “gravity pleasure ride” industry in 1884. Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in the United Arab Emirates is now the world’s fastest coaster, accelerating to 149 mph in just 4.5 seconds, and the world’s tallest is the 570 foot Skyscraper in Orlando, Florida, […]