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In 1783, John Dawson of Bath, UK, invented a wheelchair named after the town of Bath.
He designed a chair with two large wheels and one small one. The Bath wheelchair outsold all other wheelchairs throughout the early part of the 19th century.
However, the Bath wheelchair was not that comfortable and during the last half of the 19th century many improvements were made to wheelchairs. An 1869 patent for a wheelchair showed the first model with rear push wheels and small front casters. Between, 1867 to 1875, inventors added new hollow rubber wheels similar to those used on bicycles on metal rims. In 1881, the pushrims for added self-propulsion were invented.
In 1932, engineer, Harry Jennings, built the first folding, tubular steel wheelchair. That was the earliest wheelchair similar to what is in modern use today.