Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,749 pages of information and 199,760 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
See also the History of the Cycle
1817 Baron Karl Drais de Sauerbrunn made the first "dandy horse", a velocifere with steerable front wheel
1819 Denis Johnson patented a velocipede with larger wheels that Drais's dandy horse; often called a "hobby horse"
1836 Gavin Dalzell builds a bicycle
1839 Kirkpatrick MacMillan builds a mechanically-propelled 2-wheel vehicle
1840s Willard Sawyer producing four-wheel velocipedes
1862 Smith and Mackenzie produce a Velocipede
c1863 Pierre Michaux and/or his son Ernest in France produce a velocipede with cranks and pedals on the front wheel. By 1865 Michaux's firm produced 400 machines in the year.  Pierre Michaux formed a partnership with the Olivier brothers as Michaux et Cie.
1866 Pierre Lallement files a patent in America
1868 March. Liverpool Velocipede Club is operational
1868 James Moore wins the first ever cycle race
1868 Arthur Markham wins the first bicycle race held in England
1868 G. Alsing imports a bicycle from Paris and demonstrates it in Glasgow
1868 Thomas Humber starts producing his first velocipede
1869 Charles Spencer imports a velocipede from Paris
1869 Thomas McCall produces a rod-driven, all steel 2-wheeler
1869 Eugene Meyer invented the wire-spoke tension wheel used on an "ordinary" cycle.
1869 Peyton and Peyton advertise a two-wheeler of Bourne's Patent with rear-wheel drive by treadles.
1869 Velocipede Exhibition held at Crystal Palace
1870 James Starley in Coventry patented the ribbon wheel
1871 W. H. J. Grout introduced hollow front forks.
1875 Singer and Co formed in Coventry
1875 Haynes and Jefferis producing the Ariel cycle
1876 Centaur Cycle Co formed in Coventry
1876 Hillman and Herbert formed in Coventry
1876 Speedwell Bicycle Club founded in London
1877 Humber, Marriott and Cooper formed in Beeston
1878 Tangent and Coventry Tricycle Co of Coventry introduced the No. 7 Coventry Rotary Tricycle,
1878 Starley and Sutton Co formed
1878 Bicycle Union formed
1878 Bicycle Touring Club formed
1878 First Stanley Cycle Show held
c1880 George Davies (of Alderley Edge) designs the first successful free-wheel
1883 Quadrant Cycle Co formed in Birmingham
1884 Crypto Cycle Co producing cycles
1884 Kangaroo Cycle first produced. Using a pair of chains it could use a 36-inch front wheel but effectively gear to 54-inch
1885 John Kemp Starley produced the first successful "safety bicycle", having a low profile with chain drive to the rear wheel. The Rover featured near-equal size wheels and a chain drive to the rear wheel.
1885 Bonnick Cycle Co formed in Coventry
1887 John Boyd Dunlop produces the pneumatic tyre which gave a smoother ride, important on the smaller wheel "safeties".
1887 Raleigh Cycle Co formed in Nottingham
1897 Dursley Pedersen Cycle Co formed
1901 Sturmey-Archer three-speed gear appears
1910 Hercules Cycles formed in Birmingham