Auto Rickshaw

Yeah I’ve been absent for a while…not only on WordPress but also on my flickr account. Sorry…but Hubby had taken leave from office and we were on a small vacation 😛 … But back to Monday ‘blues’ now 😦

While we were still on vacation… just the thought about ‘whats the origin of Auto Rickshaw’ struck me… and then other related questions followed… like ‘apart from India..which other country’s roads are ruled by this three wheeler’…’what is the history’ … ‘who invented it and why’ …etc. So I did what most of the couriousity struck people whould do these days 😛 … Googling. … and I’m sharing here what I found out.

# From a blog I found out a bit of history of Auto.


The motor- (sometimes auto-) rickshaw was invented by the Reverend Jonathan Scobie, an American Baptist minister living in Yokohama, Japan. The first model was built in 1869 in order to transport his handicapped wife. Today it remains as one of the most important modes of transportation in Pakistan where it was first seen on August 14, 1947. Before that it was not possible to see it in Pakistan.

Three Wheel Desgin

The three-wheel-design of a rickshaw provides it a better road grip than a bicycle. It also provides gasoline savings when compared with a 4-wheeler taxi and green salad saving when compared with a 4-legged horse. When in need of repairs, the three-wheel structure also helps in lifting it from any side. When a side is lifted, it conveniently sits down on the other two while a mechanic goes looking for underbelly mechanical faults.

# Another answer I found about Inventor of Auto Rickshaw was again on wiki.

Rickshaws first appeared in Japan around 1868, at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. They soon became a popular mode of transportation, since they were faster than the previously used palanquins (and human labor was considerably cheaper than using horses).

Japanese sources often credit Izumi Yosuke, Suzuki Tokujiro, and Takayama Kosuke, who are said to have invented rickshaws in 1868, inspired by the horse carriages that had been introduced to the steets of Tokyo shortly beforehand.

The identity of the inventor remains uncertain. Some sources give the American blacksmith Albert Tolman, who is said to have invented the rickshaw around 1848 in Worcester, Massachusetts for a missionary.

Others claim that Jonathan Scobie (or Goble), an American missionary to Japan, invented rickshaws around 1869 to transport his invalid wife through the streets of Yokohama. These sources claim the Rickshaw was invented in North Urbana, NY. Near Keuka Lake.

Still others say the rickshaw was designed by an American Baptist minister in 1888. This is probably incorrect, for an 1877 article by a The New York Times correspondent in Tokyo stated that the “jin-riki-sha, or man-power carriage” was in current popular use, and was probably invented by an American in 1869 or 1870.


An auto rickshaw or three-wheeler (tuk-tuktrishawautorickautorick, or rickshaw in popular parlance) is a motor vehicle and one of the chief modes of transport in many parts of South and East Asia, especially as a vehicle for hire. It is a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw or velotaxi, a small three-wheeled cart operated by a single individual, and is related to the cabin cycle.

Auto rickshaws are particularly popular where there is traffic congestion. They are common in many Asian countries such as BangladeshCambodiaIndiaLaos,PakistanSri Lanka and Thailand. As well as some African countries such as Ethiopia.

# Then I found this vedio on Youtube… I won’t say its good…but if you’ve ever traveled in an Auto in Delhi…you’ll be able to relate to it for sure ;D

It reminded me of an old animation advertisement with an auto driver character…giving side signals with his feet and breaking all the traffic rules… I really used to like that Ad… but couldn’t find it on youtube 😦

Let me know if you have some more interesting infomation about our beloved ‘Auto-rickshaws’ 😉


5 thoughts on “Auto Rickshaw

  1. This is so interesting! Funny how much we take the auto rickshaw for granted that most of us would not even know the history 🙂

    Good that you are back to blogging now 🙂

    • Yup …true
      and not only Auto… there are so many things we use everyday and hardly care about their origin or history

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