The First Self-Propelling Wheelchair in the World

Nowadays, the market offers different types, sizes, colors and brands of wheelchairs. Of course, it is always best to learn on how to ask the store representative or salesperson about the most trusted brand to consider.

With the advent of the Internet also, it is now easier to find the best wheelchair manufacturers and compare their available products before investing one.

If we discuss about history, there are recorded data that proved the existence of this type of useful equipment many years ago. According to, China already had similar equipment that they revealed back in the 5th and 6th century. It is actually a seat with wheels and utilized when they need to transport a disabled person during the ancient Chinese time.

When talking about the first self-propelling wheelchair in the world, history revealed that German Stephan Farffler invented this equipment back in 1655 and it features 3-wheeled device, which they use as a concept in producing bikes and tricycles these days.

According to, Stephan is an amputee or paraplegic and a known watchmaker in Nuremberg, Germany. He was only 22 years old when he designed and built the first-ever wheelchair that features a self-propelling function. The equipment likewise includes a chassis designed for the cogwheels and a crank system to operate.

In year 1783, another wheelchair came out and this time it is the invention of John Dawson called the Bath wheelchair. The word Bath is actually a place in England where Dawson originates and this is a 3-wheeled chair (1 small in front and 2 big at the back) with a handle to steer the wheels when maneuvering it.

As detailed through, this invention beat all the other invented wheelchairs in terms of sales and stayed on top for nearly four decades.

The designs and features of the modern-day wheelchairs now had adopted the invented units back in the 1800s. The first wheelchair patent came in 1869 and the development continues until the year 1932 when they introduced the folding wheelchair already invented by Harry Jennings. He actually designed and created such wheel chair for Herbert Everest (his close friend) and this is the beginning of the Everest and Jennings Company back in 1956.

His wheelchair had assisted many war veterans during that time.

The advent of the electric-powered wheelchairs came after the World War II and through the invention of George Klein. Canadian Klein was able to improve the design, size and overall functionality of his invention and gave way to the introduction of the different technological wheelchairs on the market today.

The improvement of this type of equipment goes on and with the impressive knowledge of John Donoghue Braingate, the world reveals the technological wheelchairs that feature the Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI) for a mind-control functionality.

His invention provides the best convenience to patients with less mobility and the wheelchair reacts through the sensor commands through the installed computer software.

You see, the different available wheelchairs today are really helpful and useful for countless of people who need them. It does not matter if a person needs a manual, folding or technological wheelchair, it most important thing is that the equipment functions properly and providing the exact assistance.

The price ranges likewise differ based on the brand and on the reputation of the manufacturer.

Truly, the invention of the first self-propelling wheelchair in the world gave way to the massive production of the different wheel-powered chairs today. When choosing one, it will always depend on the choice of the person who is going to use it or on the prepared budget on hand.


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