Whilst a heavy-duty mobility scooter is used throughout the year, they are a common sight during the summer months, as people get a chance to enjoy the refreshing beauty of the British countryside sitting on a mobility aid they can trust.

Most mobility scooters were built on a robust, familiar platform that started to emerge in the 1960s, took a recognisable shape in the 1980s and has only gotten more efficient, more versatile and easier to use ever since.

However, the first mobility scooter that was widely available to order was made as early as 1954, and advertised as part of the Sears Wishbook for Christmas 1954.

The Sears catalogue was somewhat infamous at the time for rather unusual and elaborate gifts, even selling a supercomputer for the kitchen in 1969.

Their mobility offering was rather confusingly known as an “electric wheelchair”, despite the fact an electric wheelchair prototype had already been designed by George Klein by that point and Sears’ option looked nothing like it.

Instead, it resembled a three-wheeled electric scooter, with an unusual looped handlebar arrangement, and a lever handle that operated the controls.

It was apparently somewhat manoeuvrable, albeit not to the same degree as a modern scooter, and it came with an extra-large battery that could be plugged into the mains for extended outings.

However, its biggest weakness, and likely the reason for its commercial failure, was its terrible choice of chair.

Sears opted to use a conventional motorcycle seat, which means that many people with fatigue or musculoskeletal conditions simply could not use the mobility scooter as they would use a more modern model.

There is a chance, as with a lot of Sears products of the era, that they intended the electric scooter more as a novelty luxury gift than as a serious tool to ensure people can get around.

By the 1960s and the first wave of serious mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs, the concept was taken far more seriously.