From wooden to wondrous: The technology of wheelchairs

As medical science improves so many facets of our lives, the humble but vital wheelchair also advances.

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FDR in wheelchair FDR in wheelchair (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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The president's wheelchair

Though he was rarely seen using it in public because he wanted to appear strong and able, President Franklin D. Roosevelt actually designed his own wheelchair to help cope with his polio. According to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, he used a dining chair from his house to ensure that the contraption was subtle, designed it specifically to have agile and precise movements. With slim front wheels that resembled bicycle wheels and small rear supporting wheels, Roosevelt's chair looked nothing like the bulky variety of his time.

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