Reproduction Draisine or hobby horse bicycle

Made by Unknown (person)

This bicycle is thought to be a well-made reproduction of the first type of rudimentary bicycle, known as the hobby horse. The most startling feature of this bicycle is that it has no pedals or cranks and the rider gained propulsion by merely pushing his feet along the ground. It was invented by the German-born Baron von Drais (1785-1851) and was patented in France in 1817. He called his invention the ‘running machine’ but to the French public it became known as a Draisine or Draisienne. It was ...


This a timber and iron framed bicycle has two timber wheels of equal size, with radial wooden spokes and iron tyres. Although steering from the front wheel is achievable, there are no pedals or brakes. There is a padded leather seat and a padded leather rest for the abdomen and elbows, which provided greater purchase when pushing off the ground with the feet.


1020 mm
480 mm


This type of bicycle was invented in 1817 by Charles Baron von Drais de Sauerbrun of Mannheim in Germany. It operates by 'leg power' only - the rider sits on it and runs, and it has no pedals and no brakes.

This reproduction Draisine was probably made early in the twentieth century.
Unknown (person)
Charles, Baron von Drais de Sauerbrun c. 1820


Purchased 1954
16 August, 1954

Cite this Object

Reproduction Draisine or hobby horse bicycle 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Reproduction Draisine or hobby horse bicycle |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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