by Shanna Hatfield
We've all seen them tootling down the street. If not in person, then in photos, memes, or movies.
Scooters are a fun way to travel.
But if you think scooters are something new, think again.
The original motorized scooter debuted in 1915, manufactured by the Autoped Company of Long Island City, in New York.
The driver stood on a platform with 10-inch tires to operate the machine. The scooters featured 10-inch tires and could be steered with handlebars attached to a long steering column. By pushing the handlebars forward, it engaged the clutch. A lever controlled the throttle. By pulling the handle bars back, it disengaged the clutch and applied the brake.
The steering column could be folded onto the platform to store with greater ease. An air-cooled, 4-stroke, 155 cc engine rested over the front wheel. The scooter came equipment with a headlamp and tail lamp, a horn, and a toolbox. Although an efficient way to travel, it was not widely distributed.
Lady Florence Norman, a suffragette, on her motor-scooter in 1916, travelling to work at offices in London where she was a supervisor. The scooter was a birthday present from her husband, the journalist and Liberal politician Sir Henry Norman.
Scooters weren't just for the working class, or nobles, but anyone who liked the idea of such an innovative, novel velocipede.
USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
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