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The invention of the Wheel

The wheel is perhaps man's greatest invention. Simple as it seems, it is the very basis of movement.
by

Diane Malby

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of The invention of the Wheel

The wheel is perhaps man's greatest invention. Simple as it seems, it is the very basis of movement. The cart, the cycle, the motor-car and the railway train move on wheels. Even aircraft which fly thousands of kilometers through the air need wheels for taking-off and landing. It is not only for transport that the wheel is vital. Machines that produce various goods for us, watches that tell us the time, generators that produce electricity, and many gadgets which have become essential in our day-to-day life cannot work without a wheel The Invention of the Wheel How did the wheel come into existence? Let us go back to man's early history. Man first began to tame animals for his use. The first animal to be tamed was the dog. It kept watch and warned its master of approaching danger. The dog was also used in hunting.

Man soon discovered that a pack of dogs could pull a fairly heavy load. He made a frame of sticks, placed loads on it and made dogs pull it. This vehicle was called a sledge. Sometimes the man himself sat on the sledge and had a ride. In Northern Europe, sledges made of raw hide, bark or hollowed tree-trunks were used long before the invention of the wheel. In Egypt and Syria sledges were used for shifting huge stone statues even after the wheel was adopted for chariots and wagons.

FACT:As we have said, the sledge was man's first vehicle. By providing it with wheels to roll forward, man took an important step in the history of transportation. Rolling motion is far better than sliding motion because it reduces friction considerably.

All the time man was looking for some means of carrying himself and his goods over longer distances with greater speed, comfort and safety. It is possible that he discovered that by putting a few round sticks under a sledge it was easier to make it move. You must have seen that this method is used even now when heavy loads have to be moved in offices and factories. The load is mounted on one or two round pipes and made to slide over them. When the load moves forward, it leaves behind the pipes, which are picked up and again placed in front under the load and thus it kept moving.

Later.... FACT Early man must have used round sticks cut from the branches of trees to slide loads over, long before the wheel was invented. But this method can be used only for moving loads over short distances. Moreover, it is a slow, time-consuming process.

Then some imaginative person must have got the idea of making a wheel. He had nothing known to adapt or copy the wheel from. The first wheel is supposed to have been devised in the East, probably in Mesopotamia. Excavations carried out in Mohenjodaro show that ox-carts with two large, solid wooded wheels were in use 4000 years ago. The first wheels were made of three planks of wood held together by wooden struts, and were nearly round in shape.

Thus the wheel came into existence. Later, the inventor of the wheel must have cut two round discs from the thick trunk of a tree, made holes through their centers and fitted them to either end of a strong rod forming an axle, so that they could turn round freely about it. Man must have found that moving loads with the help of wheels was much easier than by using rollers.
FACT: The discovery of metals helped greatly in making bigger and better wheels. A strip of metal placed around the outer circumference of the wheel formed a tyre which held the pieces firmly together and gave a smoother running surface. Besides the metal tyre could stand wear and tear better than wood. Thus, the usefulness and life of the wheel were greatly increased How did the wheel advance Where did the IDEA come from Once upon a time there was a hard working
man named UGHH. He used to drag his heavy
load of prize catchings up a large hill to his home
every day....... Poor Ughh Needed another way to move heavy objects around.... what could he do? Ughh watched how tree branches
stones rolled easily down the hill.... reference: http://www.4to40.com/science/index.asp?id=117
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