Millions of people use a treadmill either at the gym or at home. However, very few people know who invented the treadmill.
William Staub, inventor of the treadmill dies at 96.
He used the treadmill up to two months before his death in his Clifton, New Jersey home.
Staub, a mechanical engineer, built and marketed his first treadmill in the late 1960s. It was made of 40 steel rollers covered by an orange belt, a grey cover over the motor, and orange dials to determine time and speed.
Staub envisioned it as a tool for people who wanted to run or walk outside but didn’t because of inclement weather.
At the time of Staub’s invention, the treadmill was mostly used by doctors to perform stress tests. Staub, who didn’t exercise at the time, learned from a doctor that if you ran a mile in eight minutes and did it four to five times a week, you would always be in a good fitness category
Staub said, “Even I — no excuses — I can afford eight minutes.”
Staub wanted to develop the treadmill commercially so people could run their eight-minute miles indoors.
Gerald, Staubs’ son said, “I don’t think he thought it was going to be quite as big as it was.”
Not only did Staub grow to love exercising on the treadmill, he was fastidious about his diet and ate the same lunch for years at a time; tomato soup, toast and tea for a while, then a tomato sandwich with a slice of cheese and lettuce.
He was a lifelong bowler who once owned a bowling alley and loved to water ski and build model airplanes.
And he became a lifelong devotee of his own invention, the treadmill.
Staub is survived by four sons and two daughters. His wife, Dorothy, died in 2007, and a daughter in 1977.