On this day in 1886, inventor Matthew A. Cherry patented the tricycle. Years later, it has evolved into a very useful mode of transportation pic.twitter.com/4SXoHcQUgT
— AFRICAN HISTORY (@africanarchives) May 6, 2017
A little bit of background on Cherry: Cherry developed two devices that changed transportation forever. The first, the velocipede, was a metal frame with two or three wheels attached. The person using the vehicle of sorts would propel themselves with their feet. This original design went on to become what we now know of as the bicycle and tricycle. Cherry’s final tricycle design received a patent in May 1888.
Cherry’s second device helped innovate streetcars. To keep streetcars from becoming irreparably damaged from the impact of other streetcars, Cherry invented the street car fender and received a patent for the street car fender January 1895. Even though the invention has been modified since its creation, Cherry’s fenders are now used on all types of transportation. (blackthen.com, blackinventor.com)
So, now that the learning portion of this article is done, let’s talk about who could play this guy in the biopic that would most certainly be up for nominations and awards. I see Trevante Rhodes from Moonlight playing this character. To me, they look similar enough that it would be convincing, and it would just be fun to have a film like this be Rhodes’ follow-up to his award-winning debut. A film like this could only keep his award streak up.
Another person good for this role could be Kofi Siriboe from Queen Sugar. He also favors Cherry and, from what he’s done on Queen Sugar, he’s begging to be the lead in a movie. All he needs is a chance (and, maybe, now that I’m thinking about it, this project could also be something cool for Ava DuVernay to attach her name to, that way the entire production can stay within the DuVernay movie family).
Whoever plays this guy, though, I’d go see this film. We all have fond memories of our first tricycle–I know I do-mine was candy apple red and was awesome–but not many of us knew who to show our gratitude towards. How sad and funny that it so happens that the inventor of one of the most iconic toys in American history is a black man, yet none of our history books reflect that fact.
Who do you want to see portray the inventor of the tricycle? Give your opinions in the comments section below.