Kirkpatrick Macmillan

About Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Who is it?: Inventor of Pedal Bicycle
Birth Day: September 18, 1812
Birth Place: Keir, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish

Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan was born on September 18, 2002 in Keir, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish, is Inventor of Pedal Bicycle. Kirkpatrick Macmillan was a Scottish blacksmith who is credited with inventing the modern pedal bicycle. A simple and homely man, Macmillan assisted his father at the forge when he chanced upon a hobbyhorse. Marvelled at the device, he set to build one for himself. Hobbyhorse was a two-wheeled bike that had to be propelled by pushing one’s foot on the ground. It was while working on the hobbyhorse that the idea for a self-propelled machine first struck Macmillan. He soon started working towards it and in 1839 came up with the first working model of a pedal bicycle. Interestingly, for Macmillan the bicycle was just a machine that helped him cover greater distances in less time. Also, it gave him the opportunity to explore the quiet country routes. He never realized the huge potential that the bicycle promised and as such, never patented his design. However, people who looked at the bicycle knew its worth and soon started making copies of it. One such person was Gavin Dalzell who copied the machine and passed the design to so many people that for nearly half a decade he was regarded as the inventor of the bicycle. Macmillan’s early bike is at display at the Glasglow Transport Museum
Kirkpatrick Macmillan is a member of Inventors & Discoverers

Does Kirkpatrick Macmillan Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Kirkpatrick Macmillan has been died on January 23, 1878.

🎂 Kirkpatrick Macmillan - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Kirkpatrick Macmillan die, Kirkpatrick Macmillan was 66 years old.

Popular As Kirkpatrick Macmillan
Occupation Inventors & Discoverers
Age 66 years old
Zodiac Sign Libra
Born September 18, 1812 (Keir, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish)
Birthday September 18
Town/City Keir, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish
Nationality Scottish

🌙 Zodiac

Kirkpatrick Macmillan’s zodiac sign is Libra. According to astrologers, People born under the sign of Libra are peaceful, fair, and they hate being alone. Partnership is very important for them, as their mirror and someone giving them the ability to be the mirror themselves. These individuals are fascinated by balance and symmetry, they are in a constant chase for justice and equality, realizing through life that the only thing that should be truly important to themselves in their own inner core of personality. This is someone ready to do nearly anything to avoid conflict, keeping the peace whenever possible

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Kirkpatrick Macmillan was born in the Year of the Monkey. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They’re energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing self before pleasing others. They’re heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, morals are weak. Compatible with Rat or Dragon.

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Macmillan allegedly completed construction of a pedal driven bicycle of wood in 1839 that included iron-rimmed wooden wheels, a steerable wheel in the front and a larger wheel in the rear which was connected to pedals via connecting rods.


A Glasgow newspaper reported in 1842 an accident in which an anonymous "gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design" knocked over a pedestrian in the Gorbals and was fined five British shillings. Johnston identified Macmillan as that gentleman.


However, it is said that Gavin Dalzell of Lesmahagow copied the Macmillan machine in 1846 and passed on the details to so many people that for more than 50 years he was generally regarded as the Inventor of the bicycle.


Some historians who have studied the invention of the pedal-driven bicycle, including David V. Herlihy, state that Macmillan was not the first Inventor. Herlihy states there is no contemporary documentary evidence that a pedal-crank design was applied to a 2-wheeled vehicle and that letters from customers in Scotland to the Michaux company in 1868 state that all of the human-powered vehicles there are tricycles and quadracycles. A similar claim is made by David Gordon Wilson.


Johnston did not present conclusive proofs, though he wrote that he had them. Sceptics allege that MacMillan design which he presented was a composite of two 1869 velocipedes by Thomas McCall. At the behest of Johnston, Thomas McCall built a replica to be presented as MacMillan's at the 1896 Stanley show (and now at Dumfries Museum) perhaps for financial reasons.


According to the research of his relative James Johnston in the 1890s, Macmillan was the first to invent the pedal-driven bicycle. Johnston, a corn trader and tricyclist, had the firm aim, in his own words "to prove that to my native country of Dumfries belongs the honour of being the birthplace of the invention of the bicycle".


A 1939 plaque on the family smithy in Courthill reads "He builded better than he knew." Yet MacMillan lived in Glasgow and worked at the Vulcan Foundry during the relevant period around 1840, not in Courthill.

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