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Mikael Pedersen

A man and his invention

Mikael Pedersen (mit Frau)

Who was Mikael Pedersen the inventor of the unusual Dursley-Pedersen bicycle? A person who went against the grain. A ingenious tinkerer. One, whose imagination was directed outside the boundaries of contemporary thought, creating a new concept in frame design.

Pedersen was born in 1855 as a son of Danish farmers. After his schooling, he apprenticed in a farm machine factory. There, he soon developed his inventing talent. One of his early inventions besides a threshing machine with a chaff blower cleaner was a bicycle with an unfamiliar frame construction. Sadly, there was no interest in Denmark for his invention.

Mikael Pedersen was particularly dissatisfied with the comfort of the available saddles of that time. So the idea of the hammock saddle was born. However, the saddle could not be mounted on any of the popular frames. Therefore, he developed the Pedersen frame, which is constructed from multiple smaller triangular frames. But before he could make his frame construction popular, he created another invention. He developed a new milk centrifuge for the butter production. The machine became so popular that he earned an appreciable fortune.


Gallery: Mikael Pedersen and his bike

Gallery: Mikael Pedersen

Mikael Pedersen in Dursley

Ein Dursley Pedersen

At the end of the 1880's, Mikael Pedersen settled to the English village of Dursley in Gloucestershire. There he began working for A. Lister & Co., which had patented Pedersen's milk centrifuge for the English market. The company also manufactured bicycle parts. With his assets, which he acquired from his milk centrifuge, he bought into the Lister company, developing over the next years his bicycle construction until it reached commercial readiness. In 1893, he applied for a patent.

The Dursley-Pedersen became one of the lightest and most stable models of bicycle that has ever been manufactured in bicycle history. There were variations for men and women. A folding bicycle was produced for military purposes. Sporty tandem, three-seater and four-seater models were also built, using the patented triangular construction. Until 1922, thousands of these bicycles were manufactured for the English market. They were status symbols, which were bought by royalty, the rich and ambitious bike racers. The Pedersen was not just a beautiful luxury item; it was a serious sport article, which set new records.

However new luxury products became available, which succeeded within a few years to drive down the market for the Pedersen: First was the motorcycle then the automobile. Soon thereafter, the bicycle was no longer profitable to make. The traditional bicycle frame was geared better for mass production, resulting in an affordable product. So the era of the Pedersen came to an end. Not until the 1970s and 1980s, when bicycle enthusiasts rediscovered the model, could the Pedersen enjoy an afterlife. One of these enthusiasts was Michael Kemper.


The Pedersen on the internet:

Pedersen on Tour:

Information about the Pedersen and the annual Pedersen meeting in southern Germany

The Dursley Pedersen

Many information about the history of the Pedersen

Pedersen Genootschap Nederland:

Dutch society of Pedersen drivers

The Pedersen bike on Flickr

about 200 images from fans of the Pedersen bike

Pedersen Trailer

The trailer on Youtube