1889 – Walking Machine – Ira C.C. Rinehart (American)
Source: St Paul Globe 10 Dec 1889
A WALKING MACHINE
A Minneapolis Man Comes to the Front With a Novel Invention.
A Minneapolis man comes to the front with a walking machine. It is a cool, breezy day with a refrigerator in the corner when there is anything invented any place in the world ahead of Minneapolis. China would be down deep In the soup if H. G. O. Morrison and Judge Atwater had Just started Minneapolis a few centuries sooner. And the only reason the printing press was not invented here was because it was a little previous itself.
This walking machine enables a pedestrian to step seven feet and four inches at an ordinary stride, and to walk a mile in three minutes and a-half and 16 miles in an hour without extra effort. Ira C. C. Rinehart, a young man formerly of Namekagon, Wis., is the inventor, and while he has not yet constructed his machine, he is positive it will work.
Its construction is quite simple and a fair idea of it may be had from the following description: A wheel ten inches in diameter is the foundation. To this Wheel bearings extend upward five and one-half inches, upon which a plate similar to that of an ordinary skate is attached and upon which the foot rests, on the hub or axle of this wheel is a sprocket wheel two inches in diameter. Over this runs a link belt to the hip Joint, where a belt around the waist is made fast to a hollow tube three-fourths of an inch in diameter, and through which the link belt passes, over a pulley and onward to another Sprocket wheel which is attached to a crank shaft that is made in connection with the belt and worn so as to be turned in front of the body by the hands. As the crank is revolved it transmits the motion through this link belt to the wheel on the ground.
So it may easily be seen that while the foot is passing from the rear and being planted upon the ground in front of the one the weight of the body in resting upon, the wheel ring revolved by the crank shaft, has rolled along sixty inches (two revolutions). This vehicle moves both feet forward at the same time, while the ordinary pedestrian can move only one at a time, the other remaining stationary to support the body.
One wheel is worn under each foot, and the belt to which the crank is attached is buckled around the waist. It is light, convenient, and can be used by ladies, there being no machinery to interfere with their dress skirts. The link belt is on the outside of the Wheel, and is protected from soiling the clothing by passing through a pipe which, being jointed at the knee and hip, allows the wearer to step over rocks, climb stairs, sit down or assume any position without interfering with the working of the vehicle in any manner. A buckle at the toe and on the belt round the waist, and the motor in on ready for use, or off and out of the way. All complete it weighs three to four pounds. For exercise, it is claimed this machine can have no superior, as every muscle in the body is brought into action.