In this video you can see an unbelivable shots of recumbents from years around 1940. Even a models which are similar to Hase Pino or some types of very compact recumbents which we can easly call micro bents. Unfornatenuly the video is from Czech television, so it is only in Czech language with some subtitles in German. At least here is a short translation:
0:00 Curious bicycles – “Time to time you can see in Prague some curious bikes which were developed by people who are still not satisfied and want to ride very comfortable and faster. On Strasnice track there was a meeting of recumbent owners. They wanted to show, what they are able to do on their bicycles. Micro bikes – bicycles which are smaller than scooter were racing against tandems, triplets, velocina and other bikes with strange names.”
0:58 Entertainers on one wheel – “Perfection in movements of entertainers needs a lot of practise. 62 years old acrobat teach a young artist to ride on a big wheel. —- This is not a good way. —- Another “bike” on legs of old entertainer. —-It seems that riding on two wheels is not so difficult. Let´s try it and we will see.”
2:31 Cycling celebration in Paris – “There were in fact two events. During one of them, 400 tandems went through the Paris and within the second one there appeared bicycles of different types.”
3:36 Unusual race – “For the second time the bicycle taxi drivers organized a race over Paris. There were many onlookers.”
4:22 Artistic family on a trip – “This is a shot from America. Even directly from New York city. All of them are pedaling and during the trip mother is able to sew a nice dress.”
5:00 Bicycle with “arm engine” – “An interesting invention from Koln am Rhein. You drive the bike by your legs and pedal by hands. And it works! But there was probably some problem when we do not see such bikes today.”
That is all from translation. It is pretty funny to see how the guy is starting with his recumbent and puting the foot on the pedal over the handle bars. Also the tandems and children trailers from Paris seems to be much older than Cannondale or Burley who started to build such trailers in seventies, not talking about Chariot or Croozer. And the rowing bike. I am not 100% sure that it was driven by feet, because the comment is obviously done only according to the shots, but it is definetely nice to see that recumbents are much older than one would expect.