The Bowden experience is not new to you, if you have ever rode a bicycle. Deriving its name from a famous brand that no longer exists, Bowden cables are used in almost all automobiles. Bowden cables are flexible cables which have thin stainless steel stranded wires which aid in transmitting mechanical energy or force with the movement of an inner cable. Designed to replace the complex pulley mechanism used in the earlier bicycles, this cables is now used for controlling a wide range of automobiles. Encased in a plastic sheath, this cable has a hollow outer covering which is constructed with spirally wound steel wires. Used since the late 1800s, the interior wires of this cable offers linear movement which aid in transmitting a push and pull force which is used to operate light devices.
The invention of Bowden cables can be credited to Sir Frank Bowden of the Raleigh Bicycle Company. Although, he invented these cables, the first patent for these cables was awarded to an Irishman named Ernest Monnington Bowden in 1896. Originally, Bowden cables were used for supporting the braking device which had a few rubber pads mounted in line along the metal rim of the rear wheel. This braking device was controlled by the Bowden cable which was connected to the lever attached to the handlebars of a bicycle.
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