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Goble Inventors and Inventions by Evelyn Goble Steen

The Jinrikisha

The Jinrikisha was actually invented by a Goble. The Jinrikisha/jinricksha is a small, two-wheeled Oriental vehicle, chiefly for passenger use, drawn by one man. In 1937 a Readers Digest article titled So That's How It Started reported: The Jinrikisha, commonly thought to have been for centuries a purely Japanese vehicle, was actually invented in 1871 at Yokohama by a poor American Baptist missionary, the Reverend Jonathan (7) Goble. Desiring to give his sick wife gentle outdoor exercise, he showed a Japanese carpenter the picture of a baby carriage in Godey's Lady's Book, and suggested the plan and form. The result, the Jinrikisha, quickly displaced the palanquin (a covered litter or couch carried on poles by four or six bearers); and soon the Reverend Goble's invention was used around the world, especially where labor was cheap. Encyclopedia Americana.

If you are interested in additional reading about this story:

* JONATHAN GOBLE OF JAPAN: MARINE, MISSIONARY, MAVERICK by F. Calvin Parker in 1990. Library of Congress Number 89-27253, ISBN 0819176397. Includes bibliographical references and index. "Jonathan Goble (1827-1896) rose to fame as inventor of the jinrikisha/jinricksha, the epoch-making "pull-man car" of Japan." This publication is currently out of print. The author has revised and updated the text and hopes to have it published in time to be available at the Goble Family Reunion to be held in Reno August 11, 2001. He will attend the reunion and speak on Jonathan Goble.

* Additionally:

If you have information you would like to add please e-mail: GOBLE [email protected]

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Copyright © 1997-2007 by Evelyn Goble Steen, All Rights Reserved
This page last updated on January 28, 2007