Mr. Pennington and the pursuit of credibility

It is said that Edward Joe Pennington was so innovative as to have coined the term himself “motorcycle”. It was the 1896. But it's not why I became famous, nor why he is the protagonist of the podcast Stories In Motion today.

Coventry, 1896. I'm here to witness the launch of a stunning new tricycle that is expected to pass the 40 mph! It is presented by its own inventor, a very confident and well dressed American guy, with a lot of patents behind it. In short, a credible one. Si chiama Edward Joe Pennington and he is already quite famous at home, but not for what we think ... This, in fact, is the story of the first motorcycle scam ever.

Listen to the other episodes of my Storie In Moto podcast.

Edward Joe Pennington is said to have had such an innovative and creative spirit that he coined the term himself “motorcycle”. In fact it seems he used it at least since 1893 when, arrived in Milwaukee, began work on his prototype (a decade before those other fellow citizens who became famous). 

However be “avanti”, get there first, often it is not enough.
It takes technical knowledge to support the courage to try new paths.

Sometimes even having all this may not be enough and to be credible, well… it takes credit.

And Mr. Pennington was the son of an Indiana farrier. He hadn't studied, he had no money, but in addition to creativity and a great persuasive capacity, he had an immeasurable ambition. Much to overcome, if necessary, that border between good and evil.

What I'm telling you in today's podcast is his story, or the story of a pioneer of motorsport who became famous not for his inventions, but for his lack of scruples and his scams.

A story worth making a film about. And on which, I admit, a fantastic time to write a novel.

I discovered it a long time ago: I sifted through the archives of the Museo Nicolis (a magical place that I will never tire of inviting you to visit) for research, when I was struck by an article reporting Pennington and Lawson's 1896 presentation of the tricycle.

I hope you enjoy this story and help you to better live our motorcycle abstinence. You can listen to italso on Spotify osu Spreaker or his Google Podcasts, download it and take it with you.

I remind you that you can always let me know what you think or suggest your story by writing me to

Good listening!

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