Ed Roberts's Wheelchair

Ed Roberts's Wheelchair

Usage conditions apply
Equipped with a sports-car seat, go-cart wheels, and a top speed of eight miles an hour, this wheelchair belonged to disability-rights pioneer Ed Roberts. Roberts was paralyzed by polio in 1953, at age fourteen. In 1962 he enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, where he led efforts to establish a program for disabled students. He later founded the Independent Living Movement, a worldwide campaign to secure civil rights, equal access, and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
associated dates
Independent Living Movement
University of California, Berkeley
Roberts, Edward V.
Stanford Rehab Engineering
Place Made
United States: California, Palo Alto
United States: California, Berkeley
United States: California
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
leather (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
blue (overall color)
average spatial: 42 in x 24 in x 46 in; 106.68 cm x 60.96 cm x 116.84 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Zona L. Roberts in memory of Edward V. Roberts
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
The Antibody Initiative
Family & Social Life
National Treasures exhibit
Antibody Initiative: Polio
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I just heard 99% Invisible's podcast episode on curb cuts, amazing to come here and see Ed's wheel chair, heart warming story.
I just heard curb cuts podcast. I am a post polio and use assistive devices. Thank you to all the disability advocates who forged the path before me!!
Heard a lovely story about Edward Jones/curb cuts/ disability rights on the podcast 99% Invisible. Had to see the famous wheelchair. Important piece of history and I am so happy to see it here online.

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