Lu Ban the cycle man

Lu Ban was apparently something like the Chinese Leonardo da Vinci, except he preceeds da Vinci by about 2000 years so he’s more like a Chinese Daedalus, except Lu Ban isn’t a myth.

Xu Quan Long is a Chinese historian who wants Lu Ban recognized as the inventor of the world’s first pedal powered cycle.

Lu Ban was a Chinese carpenter, engineer, philosopher, inventor, military thinker, and statesman who lived 2500 years ago. He’s traditionally credited with inventing siege weapons, grappling hooks, and a prototypical kite constructed of wood.

This historian, Xu Quan Long, believes Lu Ban built the world’s first pedal powered locomotion nearly 2300 years before Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement attached cranks to the front wheel of a two wheeled Draisnine to create the first velocipede. Xu built a huge pedal powered wooden contraption that he says are based on the writings and sketches of Lu Ban. Xu’s three wheeled behemoth uses monstrous meshing gears to transmit power from the cranks to the rear wheels.

He pedals this box around Beijing to bring attention to Lu Ban’s invention and get recognition for what he believes it the world’s first pedal powered transportation.

Photo are more at Metro UK, with props to “RB.”

One comment

  • April 22, 2010 - 12:52 am | Permalink

    Interesting post. I have made a twitter post about this. Others no doubt will like it like I did.

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