Considered the founder of the bicycle industry, he was among the first and most successful producers, innovators, and sellers of the new vehicle.
He was a prolific inventor from his earliest days. He developed a window blind controllable with a single string, a bassinet that could soothe the most colicky baby, and improved sewing machines.
He immediately saw room for improvement after the introduction of the new French velocipede invention. He built a version with lighter wheels, later creating the patented cross-spoke method.
He was born in the village of Albourne in Sussex.
His contemporary Karl von Drais also contributed to the design and popularization of the first bicycles.