Right here, Wright now…December 17, 2010
It’s fair to say Wilbur and Orville Wright, the mechanically minded brothers from Dayton Ohio, changed the world a century ago with an invention that revolutionised transport forever. We are, of course referring to their self-tightening bicycle pedal.
In 1900, they announced a “bicycle pedal that can’t come unscrewed.” Pedals were mounted to the crank by threaded posts. On early bicycles, both posts had standard right-hand threads. As the cyclist pedaled, the action tended to tighten one pedal and loosen the other, with the result that one pedal kept falling off. Wilbur and Orville used right-hand threads on one pedal post and left-hand threads on the other so the pedaling action tended to tighten both pedals. So today’s top tip is to always check for the ‘L’ and ‘R’ engraved on pedals if you’re fitting them.
Oh aye – on this day in 1903 they also became the first people to fly a plane and did little else to improve bicycles.