THOMAS COLEMAN DU PONT, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania invented a bicycle-carrier for the purpose of carrying a bike on a train or streetcar. This patent was filed on September 29, 1897 and likely the genesis for today’s bike rack carriers seen on many public transportation system across the world.
Thomas Du Pont was of the same well known family. A brief bio on his storied past can be found here.
While this invention may not have fulfilled the commercial success that he wished for, it’s fun to imagine how he may have come up with the idea. Bicycles in the late 1800’s weighed between 30-35 pounds and unless actually riding them, cumbersome to transport. He owned a public rail system and likely saw passengers struggling to schlep a bike onto one of his rail cars and thought there must be a better way. Cheers to you Thomas.