Many people would not have owned the bikes and motor vehicles they have today if it had not been for Mathew A. Cherry’s invention of the tricycle.
The African American inventor created several devices that have become very useful for transportation today, including the velocipede, the tricycle and the streetcar fender.
The velocipede consisted of a metal seat frame upon which were attached two or three wheels.
Anyone sitting on the seat could propel themselves forward at considerable speeds by moving their feet along the ground in a fast walking or running motion.
Cherry’s model of the velocipede over time evolved into the tricycle and the bicycle.
In May 1888, Cherry received a patent for creating the tricycle, a three-wheeled vehicle that is till date being used for commercial transportation and deliveries in several countries, as well as, for shopping and exercise.
Cherry, after receiving the patent for the tricycle, came up with a solution to another problem with streetcars.
At the time the streetcar would get severely damaged whenever its front accidentally collided with another object, thus needing a replacement.
Cherry invented the streetcar fender, a piece of metal that was attached to the front of the streetcar to act as a shock absorber.
It minimized the impact of an accident, thereby enhancing safety for passengers.
On January 1, 1895, Cherry received a patent for the streetcar fender which has since been modified and is now used on most transportation devices.