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Patent research shows there was some pretty fierce rivalry going on.

Georg Bergner from Washington, Missouri managed to get to the patent office with his ‘Monocycle’ design just hours before Allen Greene and Elisha Dyer from Providence, Rhode Island showed up with theirs on that summer’s day of June 22, 1869.

Coates got the ‘brilliant’ idea of fitting propeller-drive to one.

His design, patented in 1911, features a monowheel with a push propeller at the back.

Extreme Weather Abandoned Places &Urban Exploring Magnificent Fractals Weird Signs Optical Illusions! Strangest Tanks 1, 2 Architectural Horrors Funny Animals Best of Japan! Maybe this is why these vehicles never caught on as serious transportation, but the bizarre concept of the monowheel has captivated engineers for almost a century and a half.

It must have worked reasonably well, since a Swiss engineer by the name of Gerdes set of with a Motorouta machine for a rather grand trip from Switzerland to Spain in 1931.

"Gerbilling" is counter-effected by two small wheels at the back and two spikes at the front, which also protect the propeller blade, but seem more like a recipe for disaster than a safety measure should the entire apparatus rotate forward at high speed and the spikes bore themselves into the ground.

In 1915 D’Harlingue also patented a propeller-driven monowheel with the engine in the centre of the wheel, driving a front-mounted propeller via chain-drive and the driver sitting on a seat behind and outside of the large wheel.

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Best of 2017/16; Best of 2015/14; Best of 2013; Best of 2012; Best of 2011; Best of 2010; Best of 2009; Best of 2008; Best of 2007; Feel-Good Issues Link Lattes Dangerous Roads of the World, 1-6 Steampunk Series Retro Future! Ekranoplans & Hydrofoils Designs by Luigi Colani Inventions by Guys Cars & Girls! Most of the images (plus a good deal of great info) courtesy of Douglas Self, used by permission. How would you like to spend your hours in traffic caged inside a giant wheel?

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