William Edward Staub was an American mechanical engineer who invented and developed the first consumer treadmill for home use, the PaceMaster 600, during the late 1960s. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, who helped to popularize Staub's invention, has described Staub as "a pioneer in exercise — not for the athlete, but for the masses.“
Staub developed the first consumer treadmill after reading the 1968 book, Aerobics, by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. Cooper's book noted that individuals who ran a mile for eight minutes four-to-five times a week would be in better physical condition than those who did not.
Staub noticed that there were no affordable treadmills for home use at that time and decided to develop a treadmill for his own use. His son Gerald, designed an on-off switch for the machine.
William Staub died on July 19, 2012, at the age of 96. Interestingly he was using the treadmill until May 2012.