All About the Wheel

history of wheels

A key element of every vehicle, the wheel allows your car, truck or bicycle to effortlessly and quickly move from place to place. Lauded by many as man’s most important creation, the wheel was fabricated a very long time ago with the main purpose of allowing things to roll. From the early wheelbarrows created by the Greeks to the progressive lightweight aluminum wheels of today, this rounded invention has undergone huge changes and upgrades. Modern rims these days aren’t just engineered to overcome the toughest driving applications—thanks to a multitude of established designs, they effectively boost the overall style of your vehicle. In this article, we discuss the impact of the wheel on transportation, agriculture, machinery and other significant industries in modern society.

When was the wheel invented?

With no organic example found in nature, it took a while for the concept of the wheel to be conceived. Several innovations like the rope, woven cloths and boats were already established about a thousand years before the wheel was created. Archaeologists contend that wheels started being utilized some time around 3500 BC in Mesopotamia, where they were initially built for pottery. It was about 300 years later before humans began utilizing them to move chariots. The first wheeled vehicles to be established were bullock carts, war chariots, and four-wheeled carts. The wheel serving as a transportation component began when two of them were utilized to form the first crude cart in the world. This was done with a tree trunk joined by an axle fastened to a platform of wood.

evolution of wheels

On its own, the wheel was not very useful but when an axle is fitted at the centre of the wheel, the end result is an early system of transportation. With this system invented, moving heavy loads across distances, which was a task done manually by man or by the animals he tamed, became easier. Around 2000 BC, the spoke wheel was invented to significantly decrease the overall weight. Further passage of time resulted in an even more progressive build that is both sturdier and lighter. The spokes and rims of today’s wheels are typically manufactured using high-quality iron for efficiency in not just heavy-duty transportation but in sport as well.

Who invented the wheel?

The creation of the wheel as a form of locomotion cannot be credited to a single inventor. Although there’s evidence of wheels dating back over five millenniums, there’s not enough archaeological proof as to who thought of utilizing a circular component to simplify difficult tasks. The early wheelbarrow that utilizes a simple cart and a single wheel to move goods and equipment is credited to the Greeks. A high-priced product at that time, the wheelbarrow significantly reduced labour work and made daily tasks easier.

There is also archaeological proof supporting the existence of wheeled carts in China and Medieval Europe. The Bronocice Pot, a piece of pottery discovered in Poland that featured early drawings of cattle-drawn carts, suggested the early existence of wheels in Central Europe. The sedentary Cucuteni-Tripolye culture has been known to have produced four-wheeled toys in modern-day Ukraine and Romania. Ancient Mesoamericans have also been credited for producing small wheeled figurines without having any known contact with their old world neighbors. To summarize, it’s highly suggested that the creation of the wheel was made possible through many groups independently.

Which city was the site of the first Ferris wheel in 1893?

Apart from being an integral part of vehicle functionality, the wheel’s blueprint was also utilized for other essential applications. This includes water wheels that produce hydropower for watermills and the gyroscope for navigation. In order to rival the awesome architecture of the Eiffel Tower, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. engineered the very first Ferris wheel in 1893 at the Chicago World Columbian Fair. This large revolving wheel, which was also referred to as the Chicago Wheel, would later become a trademark structure in the carnival scene. The original design is measured to be 250 feet in diameter and is capable of carrying approximately 2,160 people per trip.

A simple yet vital mechanical part, the wheel has certainly come a long way from being just a pottery-utilized machine. With technological advancements, different wheel types have been manufactured to not only make transportation possible but to ensure ride quality is both comfortable and precise, regardless if they’re integrated for everyday drives, heavy-duty truck applications or the most demanding races. For incredible prices on the most highly efficient wheel designs, look no further than Automotive Stuff. As a verified vendor, we carry the latest rims from globally renowned brands such as American Racing, Moto Metal, Mickey Thompson, Advanti Racing and Mamba. Exceptional deals coupled by quick shipment and superb customer service, for an exceptionally reliable brand in America, choose Automotive Stuff.