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 John Kemp Starley

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John Kemp Starley

  • Birth 14 Dec 1854 Walthamstow, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
  • Death 29 Oct 1901 Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England
  • Burial Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England
  • Plot Square 89. Grave 5
  • Memorial ID 111263790

British businessman and inventor who is widely recognised as the father of the modern bicycle. He was born in Walthamstow, Essex. He moved to Coventry in 1872, first to work for his uncle building Ariel bicycles and then to go into business with local cycling enthusiast William Sutton in 1877 when they founded Starley and Sutton Company. They worked together to improve on the usability and safety of the penny farthing, which was the standard model of bicycle at this time. The breakthrough came in 1885, when Starley developed the Rover Safety Bicycle. It was chain-driven cycle, with both wheels the same size. Cycling magazine thought that it 'set the pattern to the world' and it did indeed look strikingly similar to the modern bicycle, as well as being a great commercial success across the world.

Bio by: Matt Harrison


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Matt Harrison
  • Added: 27 May 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 111263790
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Kemp Starley (14 Dec 1854–29 Oct 1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 111263790, citing London Road Cemetery, Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .