Wheelchairs are intended to provide people with comfort and independence after their movement has been either compromised or become impossible due to illnesses, injuries, disabilities, or simply aging. For those with either limited or no mobility at all, a wheelchair can make an incredible difference in their quality of life. And here is the brief wheelchair history. The earliest record of wheelchairs dates back to the 6th century, as an inscription found on a stone slate in China around 6th century. Around 16th century, king Philip II of Spain used an elaborate rolling chair with movable arm and leg rests. After that King Louise XIV changed from the movable arm and leg rests to roulette for moving while he was recovering from an operation in 1700. And the very first wheelchair that resembles today was design in 18th century.
It had two large front wooden wheels and one caster in rear. Around 19th and 20th centuries after the American Civil War and World War I, the first wheelchairs were built with wooden frames, wicker seats, adjustable arm rests, footrests and large spoke wheels. Around 1984 U.S. patent was filed for a wheelchair with fixed frame, adjustment surfaces, firm wicker seats and large rear wheels for self-propulsion (Cooper R. A. 1996).
Then Herbert Everest (an injured mining engineer) and Harold Jennings (a mechanical engineer) collaborated to design the first folding frame wheelchair in 1932. They went on to form the company E&J (Everest & Jennings). E&J developed the first powered wheelchair in 1950s. They followed the development of transistor-controlled motors and adapted it to their interest by adding a motor to their manual wheelchair design. In 1952, the beginning of wheelchair sports occurred with the first games held at the Stoke Mandeville Rehabilitation Center in England (Cooper R. A. 1996). After than the first Paralympic Games were held in Tokyo, Japan 1964. The revolution in lighter weight manual chairs driven by the need and...
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