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Antique Wheelchair Models

Aug 17, 2007
The chair and the wheel were two of man's earliest inventions, dating back to 4000 B.C. The first evidence of combining wheels with furniture was a Greek wheeled baby-bed, built in 530 B.C. It was not until 1595 that an actual wheelchair was invented. This antique wheelchair was used by King Phillip II of Spain.
Vintage Wheelchairs

Another antique wheelchair was built by a 22-year-old paraplegic in 1655. In 1783, another wheelchair was built in Bath, England, by John Dawson. This wheelchair had two lare wheels in the back and a smaller one in front. It was used at a large scale during the 19th century.

Later on, the comfort of the handicapped persons became more important. Therefore, an 18th century antique wheelchair had adjustable footrests and a reclining back.

There's a high probability that the first bycicles were inspired by antique wheelchair models. However, the invention of bycicles had a big influence on the wheelchair development. It led to the replacement of the wooden wheels with iron wheels and to the adding of rubber tires.

The first motorized antique wheelchair was built in London in 1916.

Later on, lightweight wheelchairs made from Indian reed started to be produced. These vintage wheelchairs weighed about 58 lbs. However, the first wheelchair that looked alike the ones you can find today was built in 1932 by Henry Jennings for a paraplegic friend. This was a folding metal antique wheelchair.
Collectible Wheelchairs: The Wheelchair Foundation Gallery

This gallery, open in December 2001 at the Blackhawk Museum, displays many antique wheelchair models. The old classic pieces are displayed together with sophisticated contemporary models. The museum is seeking donations of collectible wheelchairs and other interesting mobility devices in order to enrich the gallery collection.
If your intrested in antiques the Blackhawk museum would be a great place to visit these chairs can be used for many diffrent purposes like for a prop in a movie or play if you are a collector, a chair could be worth a couple thousand dollars. When Looking to purchase an antique you should always make sure you are getting what you pay for, because you may often end up with a new model made to look old. Wheelchairs have been around for centurys but yet have changed through the years to become better and more relevant for today, this is one way of seeing how we as humans have progressed to the state that we are now. I sometimes wonder why I or others pay so much money for something so old but then i realize im holding on to the past to learn from it and to grow plus it preety cool to have something that nobody else has.If your looking for an antique wheelchair do me a favor and do the research before you buy it.
About the Author
Emmanuel Aubrey
Antique Collector
antique wheelchair
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