James Starley

James Starley

Birth
Albourne, Mid Sussex District, West Sussex, England
Death 17 Jun 1881 (aged 50)
Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England
Burial Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England
Memorial ID 69130506 · View Source
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English inventor and father of the bicycle industry. He was one of the most innovative and successful builders of bicycles and tricycles. His inventions include the differential gear and the perfection of chain-driven bicycles. He began his working life as a gardener, but he repaired clocks and devised gadgets in his spare time. In his early twenties, Starley became involved in repairing sewing machines which were, at the time, rare and expensive. He later formed a sewing machine company in Coventry in 1861 with a business partner. In 1868 the company started making bicycles, first velocipedes (bicycles with equal sized wheels), then penny farthings. Later developments included tricycles and tandems. Starley's sons continued to make bicycles after the death of their father, but Starley's nephew, John Kemp Starley made the most lasting improvement to biciyle design with the Rover safety cycle, which incorporated 26" wheels, a diamond shaped frame and a chain drive, very similar to the modern bicycle.


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  • Created by: julia&keld
  • Added: 30 Apr 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 69130506
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Starley (21 Apr 1831–17 Jun 1881), Find a Grave Memorial no. 69130506, citing London Road Cemetery, Coventry, Metropolitan Borough of Coventry, West Midlands, England ; Maintained by julia&keld (contributor 46812479) .