The new motor bicycle (1896)

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Motor bicycle

One of the first patents granted for motor bicycles is the property of Charles H Barrows of Willamantic, Conn. Just what the machine will do can only be determined by experiment, but it seems to be built on scientific principles.

The general appearance of the bicycle is much like the first “safety” invented that was called the “kangaroo.” The hind wheel is of the ordinary style, but the frame of the machine is very heavy as is necessary to carry the propelling apparatus.

Mounted on either side of the hind wheel are storage batteries that are connected by wires with a twin motor mounted on the steering head. The front wheel really has two tires, and between them a driving surface over which a chain passes, and thence over a driving surface between the armatures of the twin motor.

This secures direct connection without possibility of slipping and puts the power at the point of least resistance. Of course the motor will have to make a great number of revolutions to one of the wheel, but this is easily accomplished under the circumstances.

The apparatus mentioned should certainly be capable of driving the bicycle over a level road at a fair pace, and if enough power is generated by the storage battery also be capable of climbing hills.

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