Sunday, October 19, 2014

History Of The Wheelchair


The first known image of a wheelchair was carved into a stone in the 6th century.
King Philip II, who was the King of Spain during the 16th century, used a very elaborate wheelchair that had both armrests and leg rests.

In the 18th century the first wheelchair similar in design to those available today was developed. It had large front wheels and a single wheel in back. By the 19th and 20th century wheelchairs were constructed of wood and wicker design. A US patent was issued for this design in 1894 and they were used by veterans of the Civil War and the First World War.

The Bath Wheelchair
In 1783, John Dawson of Bath, England, invented a wheelchair named after the town of Bath. Dawson designed a chair with two large wheels and one small one. The Bath wheelchair outsold all other wheelchairs throughout the early part of the 19th century.

Late 1800s
However, the Bath wheelchair was not that comfortable and during the last half of the 19th century many improvements were made to wheelchairs. An 1869 patent for a wheelchair showed the first model with rear push wheels and small front casters. Between, 1867 to 1875, inventors added new hollow rubber wheels similar to those used on bicycles on metal rims. In 1881, the pushrims for added self-propulsion were invented.

Image: Bath wheelchair


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