Thiene, a town of records.
Agostino Vaccari, inventor
His wooden bicycles are genuine masterpieces
Ermanno Olmi and University Professors have admired them
He builds unique bicycle models, completely made of wood, which have been defined as "jewels of ebanistic engeneering". The inventor-builder is Agostino Vaccari who, once in retiring age, decided to produce something extraordinary, which could give space to his natural creativity skill and to his manual ability.
Cavalryman Vaccari, mechanic entrepreneur by profession, has got his share of brains: early in 1960, he built, together with his brother, a prototype of a drying machine to dry leather quickly with a high vacuum system; and some years later he built a new type of oil-pressure horizontal press.
"Once retired I took it into my mind to build a bicycle completely made of wood, which I finished in 1994. Since then I planned and made five more copies, each time making alterations and different designs. The peculiarity, for instance, of the fifth model is the handlebar that turns the back wheel which is very small-sized."
His last bicycle was realized few months ago and was christened "the phoenix 2 - two thousand". It is a one-off item, with an empty frame made of walnut; the saddle is shaped like a bird of prey, it is endowed with a system to increase the speed of the back wheel, it has a four-leaved clover as a fastener; everything is strictly wooden, like the gears and the chain, the rims and the spokes, the handle, the pedals, and the mechanics of the brakes. It is an elegant bicycle, very elaborate and perfectly working, which was created "at the venerable old age of three quarters of a century". "It took me a couple of months for the draft and the planning. First I drew the bike to the scale of 1 to 2, then in real size on cardboard; then I built it almost totally hand-made, making those alterations which seemed necessary in the process". Mr Vaccari has won Ermanno Olmi and professor Raffaele Cavalli's praise. The former defined his bikes as "admirable, brilliant and poetic works of art" while the latter, who teaches wood technology at the University of Padua, was enchanted by Vaccari's ability to transform wood, or, better, to "engineering" it. Creativity is really boundless. Archimedes lives in Thiene, too.