Leon Bollée tricycle from 1896.

This tricycle completed the Le Mans-Paris route in just 7 hours, with an average of 30 km/h. It would later set a record by reaching a speed of 60 km/h.

Léon Bollée (1 April 1870 – 16 December 1913) was a French automobile manufacturer and inventor.

Bollée’s family were well known bellfounders and his father, Amédée Bollée (1844–1917), was the major pioneer in the automobile industry who produced several steam cars. Both Léon Bollée and his older brother Amédée-Ernest-Marie (1867–1926) became automobile manufacturers. The third brother was Camille.

Early invention

In 1885, at the age of 14, an early inventor, Léon Bollée made himself known by the construction of a kind of pedalo.

In 1887, in order to help his father, a founder of bells, and to avoid errors in many calculations required for their manufacture, Bollée began work on three calculating machines: the Direct Multiplier, the Calculating Board and the Arithmographe. Bollée’s Multiplier was the second successful direct-multiplying calculator (the first was Ramón Verea’s) and it won a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition. Three versions of the large multiplier and several smaller machines were developed by Bollée and the devices were patented in France, Belgium, Germany, the USA and Hungary.

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