When Was the Scooter Invented: A Brief History of Scooters

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The scooter was first invented in Germany in 1817 by Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun. It was a two-wheeled ride. In 1916, Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson and Joseph F. Merkel created the first motorized scooter, known as the Autoped.

When Was the Scooter Invented

Who Invented The Scooter

The scooter was first invented in Germany in 1817 by Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun. He created a two-wheeled ride that laid the foundation for the modern scooter. In 1916, Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson and Joseph F. Merkel created the first motorized scooter called the Autoped.

This invention promised to revolutionize short trips, work commutes, and personal transportation. In the following years, various innovations and developments took place, leading to the production of scooters with features like legshields, bodywork, and engines.

The United States saw a surge in scooter popularity during the 1930s, offering freedom and mobility during the Great Depression. Scooters continued to gain popularity, with major manufacturers like Honda and Fuji entering the market.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters

Invented in the 19th century, the scooter has come a long way to become the modern electric scooter that we know today. Let’s take a closer look at the timeline of this popular form of personal transportation.

1. Draisine, 1817

German inventor Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun created the Draisine, a running machine that resembled a pedal-less bicycle. It was an expensive invention, earning the derogatory nickname “Dandy Horse.”

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Draisine, 1817

2. Wisa Gloria AG, 1900

Swiss toy manufacturer Wisa Gloria AG introduced the first recognizable mini-scooter. Made of wood and featuring a signature flag on the handlebars, this simple scooter became a hit among children and continued to be manufactured with rubber wheels introduced in 1980.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Wisa Gloria AG, 1900

3. Autoped, 1915

The first motorized scooters, known as Autopeds, hit the streets of New York City. These gas-powered scooters had engines affixed over the front wheel, reaching speeds of up to 30 mph. They were popular among flappers, class-conscious women, and even the U.S. Post Office.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Autoped, 1915

4. Wim Ouboter, 1996

The modern kick scooter was invented by Wim Ouboter. His craving for a sausage led to the development of a foldable metal scooter with three rubber rollerblade wheels. This kick scooter has since evolved and seen growing popularity due to environmental concerns and the fun factor.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Wim Ouboter, 1996

5. Gino Tsai, 1998

Gino Tsai from Taiwan invented the Razor scooter, a lightweight and foldable toy. It quickly gained popularity among adrenaline-junkie teens in Los Angeles, giving birth to freestyle scooter riding as a sport.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Gino Tsai, Razor Scooter, 1998

6. Telepod, 2016

Four college friends from Singapore invented shared electric scooters to beat the heat and offer a convenient mode of transportation. These shared e-scooter networks have expanded across major cities, operated by companies like Lyft.

The History And Evolution Of Electric Scooters - Telepod, 2016


Why did the Autoped become so popular?

The Autoped, introduced in the early 20th century, gained popularity due to its ease of use and convenience. It had a step-through frame with a leg shield and an automatic transmission, making it accessible and user-friendly for anyone.

When did electric scooters become popular?

Electric scooters gained significant popularity in the 21st century, especially in major cities worldwide. As battery technologies improved and concerns about environmental sustainability grew, electric scooters emerged as a viable alternative to traditional gas-powered scooters.


In conclusion, the invention of the scooter can be traced back to the early 19th century when Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun invented the precursor to the modern-day scooter. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that scooters gained popularity as a form of personal transportation.

Throughout history, scooters have undergone significant advancements and transformations. From the wooden kick scooter invented by Arthur Hugo to the introduction of electric scooters powered by lithium-ion battery technology, scooters have evolved to meet the changing needs of urban transportation.

Today, scooters are widely used in major cities around the world, offering an efficient and eco-friendly solution to navigate through congested streets. They come in various forms, including gas-powered scooters with four-stroke engines and electric scooters with advanced battery technologies.

With its compact size, affordable cost, and maximum speed and range, the scooter has become a popular choice for commuters, allowing them to make informed decisions about their daily travel.

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