Wheels in the Marketplace
The Gendron wheelchair of the late 19th century was all about cool wheels and good business! But did improved wheel technology change the wheelchair?
Peter (Pierre) Gendron was born 1844 in St. Ours, Quebec. He worked in his father’s wagon shop until migrating to the United States about 1865. In 1874, he patented an improved wire wheel and began manufacturing baby carriages. He then built bicycles and eventually mounted a chair on his wheels. He opened a Toronto factory to avoid tariffs on the company’s baby carriages. By 1900, Gendron was making Canadian wheelchairs.