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Timeline of the Wheel and Axle
Transcript of Timeline of the Wheel and Axle
The Creation of the Wheel and Axle
The date of the creation of the wheel and axle is unknown and the creator is also unknown, but it is estimated to be created around 8000 B.C.
The first wheels and axles were probably just logs used as "rollers" to make transport easier.
Probably the first time the wheel and axle came together was around 3500 B.C, in carts used for transporting things. The first wheels were made of tree trunks and were used for transporting things by putting them on carts.
It was a lot faster and easier than transporting things by hand. The wheel would still not be widely used a lot of people thought of them as toys.
In around 2000 B.C, the horse was tamed, allowing easy transport that was way faster than walking.
Wheel and axles were used for building stagecoaches and carts for the horses to pull. Without the carts, food and supplies could not be moved in bulk, so the horse riders without carts had to put the supplies in sacks attached to the saddle, which provided very little space.
At this point, it was clear that wooden wheels made of of the trunk of the tree could not support much weight and were too heavy for the horses, so a new type of wheel was needed. The spoked wheel was a much needed invention, with it using spokes to give it the strength and weight that was required. It was made by shaping a material (wooden planks) planks into circles and putting spokes (sticks) in between the wheel and the axle. This design was a lot stronger than the trunk wheels and was very light. It provided the needed support and was wisely used until pretty recently. It could hold more weight than the original wheel, and was much easier for horses to pull.
No one knows who or when the wheelbarrow was invented, but some people say it was around 100-400 AD. The designs varied throughout each region it was used.
Some say the ancient chinese used it during battles to bring supplies mid battle. It was very useful, and was widely used by the army. Some say that the ancient greeks used it too.
The Steam Locomotive
The steam locomotive was invented around 1800- 1830. It was basically a train powered by steam. It was essential to transport things across large distances, where horses could not reach.(Mountains, etc.) Steam locomotives had many wheel and axles and used coal. It was replaced by the diesel locomotives in the 1940's-1950's.
It also was very fast, and could go even faster than horses. It was also a lot more cheap to buy a train ticket than buy a horse. (Stage coaches could not as that far) It took a lot of money and materials to build the railroad, but and the economic and social benefits definitely outweighed the cost and land to build it.
Countries at war could also use them to transport troops quickly across wide expanses of land.
The First Modern Cars
The first modern motorized car was built in 1886, by Karl Benz.
There were many other cars built before this, but they weren't really "cars" Like the self propelled military tractor, made by Nicolas Cugnot in 1769. It was powered by steam, and is considered to be the first self propelled vehicle. The earliest cars were very expensive, so horses were still widely used. The Ford Model T was much more affordable, but was still very expensive to the average person.
Modern Wheel and axles
Wheels right now are used for many things, like cars, planes, roller coasters, clocks, computers and thousands of other things. The wheel has changed significantly throughout time, in shape, durability, size and performance and other aspects. The uses have also changed, from carts to trains, from trains to planes, and even from logs to sports cars. Wheels now are a lot safer than wheels back then. Tires are an addition to the wheel, making it's performance better, providing a protective cover, and giving a smoother ride. An example of a modern wheel is a wheel for a luxury car, which is made to be as smooth as possible (with the proper tires)
Timeline of the Wheel and Axle
In around 4000 B.C, the water wheel was invented. It was a technological breakthrough, powering mills, providing drinking water and many more things. People relied on this machine for almost everything. It was basically a wheel that used the power of the current provided by rivers, streams, etc. to move a big wheel that provided mechanical power used for many things.
It replaced a lot of human and animal labor and made lots of things easier. There are three main types of water wheels. The horizontal wheel, and 2 types of vertical wheels.
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Author: Bellis, Mary (2014) Waterwheel, About.com, Retrieved 1/23/2014, from: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blwaterwheel.htm
Bellis, Mary (2014) The history of railroad innovations, About.com, Retrieved 1/25/2014, from: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blrailroad.htm
Wilkins, Alasdair (6/28/2011) Who invented the world's very first car?, Jalopnik.com, Retrieved: 1/25/2014, from: http://jalopnik.com/5816040/who-invented-the-worlds-very-first-car
Bellis, Mary (2014) History of screws and screwdrivers, About.com, Retrieved 1/25/2014 from: http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/a/screwdriver.htm
Author: Bellis, Mary (2014) Wheelbarrow, About.com, Retrieved: 1/26/2014, from: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blwheelbarrow.htm
Author: Chris Vincent
Author: Leinhard Schulz
Author: Markus Hagenlocher
Author: Ben Brooksbank
Author: Biswarup Ganguly
The wheel and axle got a lot of changes; mainly the wheel, which went from tree trunks, to spoke wheels, to wired wheels and to the wheels we know today. The axle really wasn't changed much, and only was made out of stronger materials. Railroad tracks went from wood to iron in 1776. Originally carts on wooden tracks were the first "railroads" but they were a lot more like trams. After the spoked wheel, the wired wheel was invented. It is like the spoked wheel, but it uses metal wires instead of wooden spokes to make it lighter.
Comparing the wheel and axle to other simple machines:
The basic design of the ramp (inclined plane) didn't really change, but it was modified for specific needs (folding ramp, motorized ramp, etc.) people use these modified ramps for easier transport (elderly people us motorized ramps to get on buses, trains, etc.) It makes pushing things easier. (reduces friction)
The screw was invented in around the first century (0-100 AD). The earliest screws were made of wood and had limited uses. Metal screws were invented in around 1500. In around 1936, the Phillips Head Screw was invented. It was an early screw that was the base for many other screws after it. Screws were used for many things, like for attaching wood, sucking up oil from the ground, pressing and squeezing things, etc.
The wedge is basically two inclined planes back to back. It really hasn't got any changes from the basic idea (except for the materials) and is used for a variety of reasons. The chisel is a widely used example of a wedge, with the thinner ones cutting through softer materials with greater precision, and the thicker ones cutting through harder materials with less precision. Another example is a scalpel, used for precision surgery on patients.