A wheel is a circular component that is supposed to rotate on a bearing on the axle. The wheel is one of the key components of the wheel and axle, which is one of the six simple machines. It was likely invented about 5,000 years ago by the ancient Mesopotamians.
After the axle, the first wheels did not appear on any mode of transportation but on a child’s toy. In 1880, an archaeologist discovered such a toy buried in a child’s tomb in Mexico. The toy was the figure of a coyote.
No one really knows who actually invented the wheel.
Scholars estimate that it took another 300 years after wheels were used in pottery and toymaking for them to be applied to transportation.
Around 3,700 B.C., wagon wheels were used in Central Asia.
The first wheels were cut whole from trees or made with smaller pieces that were shaped and rounded where needed.
The original wheels were circular only, with the development of the addition of spokes later.
The oldest wheel in the world was discovered in 2002 in Slovenia. The wooden wheel is estimated to be between 5,100 to 5,350 years old.
When you turn a wheel that has an axle, the axle will also turn.
Wheels made transport of material possessions possible, which meant groups of people could travel long distances for longer periods.
The larger the wheel the easier it will turn due to the shorter distance of the axle turn.
The oldest potter’s wheel was discovered in Ur, a city in Iraq. This wheel is estimated to be from 3129 B.C.
Wheels are used in tiny ways, as in the mechanisms of an intricate watch all the way to larger functions such as wagons and cars.
Interestingly, two-wheeled vehicles came after four-wheeled transportation. The earliest known depiction of this simpler vehicle has been dated between 3402 to 2800 B.C.
The invention of the wheel is thought to be one of the major reasons that civilizations made such great advancements.
The spoked wheels are believed to have been invented in Anatolia or Turkey. The spokes made the wheels significantly lighter and thus faster, making them ideal for many uses, including warfare.
Water wheels have been used throughout history in many countries for both the distribution of water as well as for grinding grain for bread and other foods.
The first wheels to utilize iron rims were found on Celtic chariots that date to 800 to 450 B.C.
The use of the wheel replaced the need for what was called a ‘sled’.
The earliest known evidence of the existence of the wheelbarrow is dated to around 150 A.D. It was discovered in a tomb in the Sichuan province of China.
No wheels exist in nature.
Hamsters were not the first animals on wheels. From the 16th century to the 19th century, dogs were used for turnspits in the kitchens of Britain. The dogs running on wheels helped turn the meat over the fire so it would cook evenly.
The back wheel of a bicycle is propelled by cogwheels.
The invention of the water wheel is accredited to an ancient engineer named Vitruvius who died in 14 C.E. The vertical wheel was used to grind grains and supply water for drinking and crop irrigation.
It has changed the world in incredible ways. The biggest thing that the wheel has done for us is given us much easier and faster transportation.
The oldest wheel found in archeological excavations was discovered in what was Mesopotamia and is believed to be over 5,500 years old. It was not used for transportation, though, but rather as a potter’s wheel.
The combination of the wheel and axle made possible early forms of transportation, which became more sophisticated over time with the development of other technologies.
Though often thought of as one of the earliest inventions, the wheel actually arrived after the invention of agriculture, boats, woven cloth, and pottery. It was invented sometime around 3,500 BC.
Some of the earliest wheels were made from horizontal slices of tree trunks. Because of the uneven structure of wood, a wheel made from a horizontal slice of a tree trunk will tend to be inferior to one made from rounded pieces of longitudinal boards.
Spoked wheels appeared about 2000 BC, when they were in use on chariots in Asia Minor. A spoke is one of some number of rods radiating from the center of a wheel (the hub where the axle connects), connecting the hub with the round traction surface.
In Britain, a large wooden wheel, measuring about 1 m (3.3 ft) in diameter, was uncovered at the Must Farm site in East Anglia in 2016. The specimen, dating from 1,100 to 800 BC, represents the most complete and earliest of its type found in Britain.
The first U.S. patent for a wheel was granted on August 26, 1791, to James Macomb from New Jersey. It was a water wheel with a hollow center that was meant for hydropower mills.
The original Ferris Wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. as a landmark for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The spinning wheel was invented more than 2,500 years ago in India.
Roulette means “small wheel” in French.
The flag of India has a wheel at its center. The wheel, inspired by the spinning wheel, has 24 spokes.