The history of scooters

The history of scooters

Have you ever wondered what the history of scooters is? Where did electric scooters come from? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll delve into the history of scooters and why a scooter was made. Let’s get started. Scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle with a step-through chassis and footrest platform. It may sound strange but scooters have been with us for more than a century now.

electric scooter

Who invented the scooter?

Scooters were first invented in Germany in 1817 when Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun created a two-wheeled ride. In 1916, Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson and Joseph F. Merkel created the first Motorized Scooter or the Autoped. The scooter promised to revolutionize short trips, work commutes, and the lives of anyone who wants to save money, time, and energy in going about. In 1919, the British built the ABC Skootamota that boasted a seat! The first scooter that we’d recognise as something similar to today’s scooter was the 1921 Unibus. It was produced by the Gloucester Aircraft Company. It boasted legshields and bodywork protecting the rider from road dirt and the engine.


The next scooter boom took place in USA during the 1930s. In the United States, scooters first enjoyed wide popularity during the Great Depression. At that time, many children built their own scooters from recycled wood. This promoted a level of freedom and mobility for those who can’t afford to buy cars. In 1939, the motorized scooter started booming in the USA. Even the heavy industry manufacturers, like Honda and Fuji, begin scooter production in Japan. Scooters had a small surge of popularity in the 1950s and were trendy off and on until pretty much being replaced by skateboards in the 1980s.

What did the first scooter look like?

The wooden kick scooter: This scooter with skate wheels is crude but very effective. It dates back to the late 19th century. During that era, motorized bikes were also developed.The kick scooter underwent a revolution in 1990 when Wim Ouboter invented a lightweight, portable model of scooter. The demand for this scooter was so high that Wim Ouboter allowed his Taiwan production unit to distribute the scooter to the United States under the name “Razor.”

 Electric scooter: In 2003, the hugely popular Razor brand added an electric motor. The real tale of the modern electric scooter begins after 2009. It started when the Lithium-ion battery technology became refined enough to integrate into small vehicles like scooters. These electric scooters could be charged at home.

 Motorized scooter: The Autoped, the first motorized scooter for adults was developed in 1913. It was patented in 1916 by Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson. At that time, the Autoped featured 10-inch tires, 4-stroke, anc 155cc engine on its front wheel. It could reportedly generate speeds up to 35mph. This motorized scooter’s steering rod was collapsible for easy storage.

 Foldable scooter: The two-wheeled, foldable electric scooter for adults was known as the ‘motor vehicle of the millions.’ This gas-powered foldable electric scooter was affordable for almost everybody.

 Off-road scooter: An off-road scooter is one that is fully capable of handling off-road terrain. It usually has solid build, powerful motors, high speed, and long-range capacity. Small additions to an electric scooter can make a significant difference.

Scooter culture

After the World War 2 scooter boom, these scooters have starred on the silver screen. The film Roman Holiday, released in 1953, is one of the most famous example of a Vespa scooter used as transport for a princess in Rome. It is believed that the film resulted in tens of thousands of sales for the Vespa scooters following the film’s release. Some films, like Absolute Beginners and Quadrophenia, embraced the association of ‘youth culture’ with the scooter. The latter, the most famous and arguably inspirational with regards to its impact on the Mod Revival movement.

 The buzz around lightweight electric scooters  faded for some time until the launch of self-balancing Hoverboard. The hoverboard gained worldwide popularity in 2015 and was a hit with celebrities. It ultimately led to a vehicle that was more of a toy than a transport device.

 In 2018, Segway made a comeback to scooter-revolution that continues to the present day. Today, Bird, Lime, and a horde of electric scooters line the streets of every modern city around the world. This modern electric scooter is the product of over 100 years of research and real-world testing by highly capable inventors, engineers, and commuters.

Scooter rules and regulations

Wearing the crash helmet was not enforced until 1973. However, over the years a number of movements were launched in an effort to encourage all riders of scooters to wear one. Now, scooters are only allowed on streets or highways with speed limits of less than 25 mph, except when crossing. Also, the riders must have a valid driver’s license.

Wrapping up

Scooters are popular for personal transportation partly due to being more affordable, easier to operate, and more convenient to park. It is definitely an exciting way to cruise around your neighborhood.

 A scooter helps you to explore new paths with your family and friends. In most cases, it would take far less time on a scooter than a car would spend in a traffic jam.

 By riding a scooter, you will discover new roads, sights, and smells that you probably wouldn’t notice in the car. These experiences lead to new adventures and a new way of life.

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