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A New Terror of the Road“A New Terror of the Road”, headlined the February 1923 issue of Everyday Science & Radio News. According to the article, this machine had a centre wheel with a diameter of 14 feet with smaller ‘gyro wheels’ on either side weighing some 500 pounds each.

No, this was not a reference to the propeller-driven machine by D’Harlingue: on the front cover was a monstrous monowheel creation by a Professor E. The centre wheel was powered by a 250 hp airplane engine, which Christie hoped would give this “Mother of all monowheels” a top speed between 250 and 400 kph.

Although the front cover of Popular Science Monthly from April 1923 depicted it on a racing track, we have no idea what ever happened to Professor Christie. The 1920s, however, also saw the introduction of a few more ‘sensible’ motorized monowheels, which were really aimed as useable one-wheeled motorcycles.

One of these was the mid-1920s Italian Motorouta that was actually produced in limited numbers.

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The driver sits quite high from the ground and almost upright with the tubular chassis running between his legs.

The advantage of this arrangement, however, is that the propeller always pulls or pushes the wheel forwards, without relying on the weight of the rider and engine to provide reaction. Louis – actually built a propeller-driven monowheel, which appeared on the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine in 1914.

There is therefore no possibility of gerbilling due to incautious acceleration, but it could still happen during braking. His design, however, features a front-propeller fitted directly onto the engine that can be swivelled for steering.

Extreme Weather Abandoned Places &Urban Exploring Magnificent Fractals Weird Signs Optical Illusions! Strangest Tanks 1, 2 Architectural Horrors Funny Animals Best of Japan! Maybe this is why these vehicles never caught on as serious transportation, but the bizarre concept of the monowheel has captivated engineers for almost a century and a half.

| airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | cool ads | funny | food | futurism | gadgets | russia | japan military | music | nature | photo | sci-fi | signs | space | sports | steampunk | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird Our "Future Tech" contributing writer Paul Schilperoord, whose recent book on "exciting innovations in transportation" you can order here, showcases today the various mono-wheel ideas, covering their development till the 1930s - modern ones will be featured in Part 2.

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