Who Invented the Wheel? The wheel is one of the oldest and most important inventions of humanity. It is practically impossible to determine who was responsible for the manufacture of the first wheel. In any case, archaeological evidence has shown that his invention took place in the Mesopotamian territory. More precisely in the Middle East, around 3500 BC.

The wheel is nothing more than a circular mechanical part whose function is to rotate around an axis. However, something so basic has been essential in many fields of human development.

Who Invented the Wheel?

What Uses Does a Wheel Have? Contrary to what we might suppose by automatically associating the wheel with the means of transport, this has not been its origin. According to historical records, the first use of the wheel was to spin potters’ clay. These artisans used it to give a better finish to the bowls and containers they manufactured.

  • Then the wheel began to be used to transport loads. With two axles that in turn moved two wheels each, the cars could slide more easily.
  • These first wheels attached to the cargo carts were solid stone or wood. It was the Egyptians, many years later, who incorporated the spokes and improved the wheels.
  • In the Middle Ages, the wheel was the star device, since it began to be used in mills, sawmills, to drive bellows and other tasks that greatly expedited the tasks of the time.
  • Other functions that the wheel had were to draw water from a well with a crank, allow spinning on the spinning wheel, and even get energy from nature: the hydraulic wheel.

The concept of a spinning wheel was used in so many systems and devices that the list would be endless. It is enough with these examples to realize that without their presence, multiple technological advances to which we are so used to today would not have taken place.

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Wheel With Tire

Although humanity had used the wheel in its machinery for centuries, it was only at the beginning of the 19th century when it began to experiment by covering its outer edge with rubber. The first tests were not very encouraging since the rubber was worn away and broke quickly.

  • In the year 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process which greatly improved the plasticity and resistance of the material.
  • The solid rubber wheels were more durable but made the ride more uncomfortable.

Finally, in 1888, John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish-born veterinarian, and inventor conceived the first air tube tire. The development of this innovation within the functionality of the wheel took place at a momentous moment. Dunlop managed to patent his invention at a time conducive to ground transportation with the expansion of bicycle and the car manufacturing.

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The Wheel Today 

We are very familiar with the presence of the wheel in our lives. From the means of transport to the smallest mechanism of a watch, this device is used for its correct operation. Unlike the former, which could be made of wood or stone, wheels today are made of different materials depending on the purpose they are to be used for.