The rickshaw began as a two or three-wheeled passenger cart, called a pulled rickshaw, generally pulled by one man with one passenger. The first known use of the term was in 1887. Over time, cycle rickshaws, also called pedicabs, auto rickshaws, electric rickshaws and solar rickshaws were invented.
Pulled rickshaws created a popular form of transportation, and a source of employment for male laborers, within Asian cities in the 19th century. Their popularity declined as cars, trains and other forms of transportation became widely available.