Granite State Stories: Segway is unveiled

  • Pre-production prototype, Concept #1 (C1) built in 1999 for the Segway Personal Transporter, known originally as Ginger; invented by Dean Kamen and developed by the engineers of his Manchester company, DEKA. N.H. Historical Society

Friday, August 11, 2017

Invented by Dean Kamen of Bedford, developed at Plymouth University, and produced at Kamen’s company headquarters in New Hampshire, the Segway Personal Transporter was unveiled to the public on the news program Good Morning America with much hype in 2001.

The innovative design that employed computers to self-balance the Segway seemed to indicate a new avenue for creative technology, and many industry gurus, like Apple CEO Steve Jobs, hailed the Segway as a new direction, possibly as life-changing as the invention of personal computers 20 years earlier.

The Segway went on sale to the public the following year. Segways quickly developed a core group of devoted users, which included people with disabilities and those looking for alternative transportation to get around cities.

Segways proved particularly popular for city tours, as they were easy to operate, were small enough to access areas not available to busses or cars and offered a means for tours to cover greater distances than could be covered on foot.

N.H. Historical Society