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MICHAUX - 1860 (France) 

Apprentice locksmith at the age of 14, Pierre Michaux is hired by a body builder. He founded a body shop in Saint-Brieuc before settling in Paris, Rue Godot-de-Mauroy, in 1850. In 1861, a fortuitous event, to be told by his youngest son Francisque, will change the fortune of The family business. Ernest, one of the four sons of Pierre, aged 19 at the time, found it tiring for his legs to use a draisienne, had the idea of ​​adapting a footrest to the front wheel. He spoke to his father who advised him to adapt instead a crank that would turn the wheel. The pedal was found. Other changes also follow: the addition of a brake and then the doubling of the diameter of the front wheel. 

The manufacture begins with two velocipedes and then a hundred pedal velocipedes in 1862 so the craze for this new invention is great. From 1867 to 1870, it was the apogee of the velocipede, the company Michaux employs 300 workmen to produce two hundred bicycles per day; But the family must give way to the brothers Olivier, two young engineers passionate about the velocipede. It became the Compagnie Parisienne des Vélocipèdes1. 

The war of 1870 and the siege of Paris will irremediably ruin the Michaux family. Ernest died in 1882, Pierre the father died in 1883 in Bicêtre. Another brother, Henry, will participate in a modest bicycle factory, the Cycles Henry Michaux.