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Town History

Creation of the Rickshaw

Few people know that Jonathan Goble, inventor of the rickshaw in 1859, was born in the Town of Wayne, Steuben County, New York. He joined the marines and accompanied Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expeditions to Japan on the USS Mississippi from 1852-1854. These expeditions opened Japan to western trade.

In May 1856 the Wayne Baptist Church licensed Goble to the work of the gospel ministry. He later returned to Japan as a missionary under the Free Mission Society and in 1872 became, with his wife, a missionary of the American Baptist Missionary Union. The Wayne Village Baptist Church supported his missionary work. He translated and published the first portion of the Bible in Japanese.

It was during his missionary work that he was inspired to invent the Jinrikisha (known as the rickshaw) to help transport his invalid wife around the streets of Tokyo.

Book Review of Jonathan Goble

The Story of the Jinrikisha


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