The scooter can trace its origins right back to the late 19th-Century, when vehicle invention and experimentation was still in its infancy. Early step-through motorized two-wheelers were already finding favour with buyers over the relatively heavier and more cumbersome motorcycle. Throughout the 1920s, many firms were founded to build these lightweight machines but it was not until the 1950s that the scooter, as we know it today, had become an established cheap-to-buy, cheap-to-run mode of transport. In the following decade, the scooter was an intrinsic part of a youth movement that encompassed a quite separate genre of music, unique fashion, and a social lifestyle adopted by a large sector of Britain's young adults. With its clean lines and ease of maintenance, the scooter grew in popularity among the style-conscious "modern community" or "Mods" of 1960s Britain. Whilst Lambretta and Vespa are now household names, long-forgotten makes such as Alwin, James, Kenilworth and Salsbury have all helped to chart the development of this often disparaged slice of motoring history and an iconic era in British popular culture.
About the Author
Steve Lanham is a writer, researcher, illustrator and has amassed more than ten years experience as a designer. He lives in Bournemouth, Dorset on the southern coast of England.