For accessibility information on this site use accesskey "0"
Skip Navigation and go straight to the main content or use use accesskey "s"

Drive Chains
James Slater
Submitted by: Geoff Howard
ArchitectureFood ProductOffice Accessory
Control SystemFurnitureProduction System
Domestic ProductGadgetStructures
EngineeringGraphics ProductTools


The earliest known sketches of chains are by Leonardo da Vinci although link chains were used in Byzantium as early as 230 BC. In 1864 James Slater patented the first precision chain strong enough to drive bicycles and other machines. His Salford factory for making textile machine chains was acquired by a Swiss named Hans Renold who patented the modern bush roller chain in 1880. In 1885, Englishman, John Kemp Starley made his 'Rover Safety' bicycle with chain drive to the rear wheel and established Coventry as the centre of manufacturing.