Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to The term bicycle was coined in France in the s, and the descriptive title " penny farthing ", used to describe an " Ordinary Bicycle ", is a 19th-century term. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of Leonardo's Codex Atlanticus. The first verifiable claim for a practically used bicycle belongs to German Baron Karl von Drais , a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany.
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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains , pages of information and , images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. This early type of bicycle had its wheels side-by-side, instead of one wheel behind the other as later became the standard. When the designer, Edward Carl Fredrich Otto , was negotiating with BSA for the manufacture of the "Otto," being anxious to prove that his machine was correct in design and principle, he demonstrated his invention to the Directors by mounting the machine on the large table, riding it backwards and forwards, showing the method of balancing, and explaining the details of the somewhat complicated system of steering. He then mounted the machine in the Board Room, rode it down the stairs, and so out into the roadway.
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