electric scooter

The Scooter Autoped, the Originator of Micro-Travel Tools

The Scooter Autoped, the Originator of Micro-Travel Tools

We know that the appearance of scooters has a history of more than 100 years. But at present, there is no relatively complete information on the Internet that introduces the scooters of that year. After many searches, Weilun.com found that the scooters that appeared in those years actually had many epoch-making significance, and some concepts have even been used to this day. Scooters have been around for more than 100 years. According to records, the concept source of scooter is derived from the enlarged version of children's scooter.

In early 1915, New York-based Autoped launched their flagship product, the Autoped, a gasoline-powered device that fitted a gasoline engine to a scooter, and opened retail stores in Long Island City, Queens, New York in the fall of 1915 Stores, the price is 100 US dollars each, according to the price level at that time, it is roughly equivalent to the current value of 3,000 US dollars. This has become the world's first commercialized small-scale motorized transport equipment, and it is also considered to be the originator of small 2-wheeled motor vehicles including fuel motorcycles. What's more, the Autoped at that time had already adopted a design with a foldable handlebar that could be lifted with one hand. This structure has been used until now in our common electric scooters. I have to admire the designers of a hundred years ago.

According to records, the maximum speed of Autoped was up to 56km/h at that time, but due to the structural problems of the body, it became unstable when the speed reached 32km/h. Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson's "Folding Scooter" US Patent 1,192,514, Jul. 25, 1916. Since the appearance of Autoped was 10 years earlier than the appearance of home traffic lights, it became the most widely used means of transportation besides automobiles at that time. The rise of Autoped, in addition to marking the commercialization of small motor vehicles, has also been endowed with many meanings. At that time, the media and newspaper propaganda copy wrote: "Autoped is an ideal short-distance transportation for business or professional men or women to and from business places. for women to go shopping or on the phone; for doctors to make daily calls or to answer emergency calls; For commercial salesmen visiting trade; for employees to commute; for collectors; repairers; messengers, and anyone who wants to save money, time, and effort. All will enjoy the comfort and pleasure of AUTOPEDING."

One of Autoped's most famous photographs is the one below, in 1916, of feminist Lady Florence Norman riding her scooter to work at her London office, where she was a supervisor. The scooter was a birthday present from her husband, journalist and Liberal politician Sir Henry Norman. So Autoped also symbolized feminism at the time. Because most of the bicycles and motor vehicles (cars) at that time were owned by noble men, women hardly had the opportunity to drive.

Autoped isn't just a plaything for the rich. Like bicycles before them, the advent of electric scooters has given women a level of freedom and mobility that conveys a "beware Autoped girls" message. The image below is a 1916 ad in Puck Magazine-"Looking for the Autoped Girl"-depicting a stylish, well-to-do white woman wearing a fancy hat and fur wrapped around her neck.

Famed pilot Amelia Earhart has been seen with Autoped in multiple photos around California. With Earhart's "endorsement", some media said: "In the near future, we are told, no one will walk at all. Due to the popularity of Autoped at the time, in the mid-1910s, although it was used by the US Post Office and other services Used for agency purchases or deliveries, it was also used by members of New York gangsters to get away with ease-they could drive down narrow alleys avoiding the police in cars behind them.

Micro-Travel Tools

On the other hand, Autoped also facilitates crime. It is also commonly used by members of New York gangsters to easily escape crime scenes, navigating narrow alleys to avoid police and police cars. Even at that time, there was a "speeding party", and street gangsters used Autoped to race on the street from time to time. When the Everready Battery Company (the old American battery company) bought the model, it also launched a battery-powered version of the Autoped.

With the advent and popularity of gas motorcycles later, Erwin Tragatsch, author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Motorcycles, said, "Like all other scooters of the period, the Autoped was not a commercial success." Experts say the problem may have something to do with the need for the device, which is more expensive than a bicycle but doesn't offer the same seating and riding comfort as a motorcycle. The Autoped was discontinued in 1921, a brief era that is drawing to a close. A small number of models still exist in museums or some families in the United States. It is said that these preserved models have previously sold for more than 1,000 US dollars on the auction network.

But it is undeniable that the manufacturing concept of Autoped has been advanced for hundreds of years. Due to the limitation of technology cost, it has not been widely popularized. Fortunately, today with major technological breakthroughs, products that were eliminated a hundred years ago have returned to people's vision and become micro-travel. One of the rare representative products.

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