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Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813 - 1878) was a blacksmith working at Courthill Smithy on the Drumlanrig estate of the Duke of Buccleuch when a local woodturner visited riding a hobby or Dandy horse. The hobbyhorse first appeared in Paris in 1808. It consisted of two wheels joined by a connecting bar. In 1818 an improved version was patented by Baron Von Drais, becoming known as the Draisinne or "Dandy horse". This type became very popular, and in 1819 hundreds were in use in Hyde Park in London. Intrigued by the simple machine, which was propelled by pushing with the feet, Macmillan built himself one. He became a familiar sight on the lanes and roads around Thornhill and Keir, but tired of its slow means of propulsion. Around 1839 he fitted pedal operated cranks to the rear wheel. This was the first time a driving gear had been fitted to two wheels, and so the world's first bicycle was invented.

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