In 1878 the horse belonging to HInckley saddle & harness maker John Boultbee Brooks died. As a rule such a minor domestic tragedy would have been of importance only to the family concerned. But as a consequence, Brooks decided not to buy a new horse. Instead he decided to give the new-fangled bicycle a try.
As he quickly found, however, the solid wooden saddles then fitted to bicycles were remarkable uncomfortable. Using his experience of making saddles for horses, Brooks went to work to produce something more comfortable for himself. He quickily succeeded and produced a leather contraption stuffed with horsehair and supported on metal springs. Reasoning that other bike riders might also appreciate a comfy ride, Brooks began making saddles by the dozen and selling them.
In 1882 Brooks got a patent for his bicycle saddle. Six years later he was producing four different models - including one made in crocodile skin! In 1896 Brooks's company went public and the business hit the big time. Three years later Brooks used his new fortune to buy a manor house in country mansion in Worcestershire where he moved with his family of five children. Somewhat ironically, Brooks used his new found wealth to breed horses.
In 1909 the business expanded to make saddles andsaddkebags for motorbikes. Two years later Brooks's son [also John] took over the business and soon expanded it to include leather luggage.
More details of the remarkable life of the inventor of the bike saddle can be found here