The humble wheel plays an indispensable part in our daily lives. It is considered almost mundane because we take it for granted. We find wheels everywhere, cars, lorries, toys, in factories and at home on television and games such as Live Dream Catcher Evolution at Regal Wins. We are surrounded by wheels and most of the time we do not even notice.
As you can imagine, the evolution of the wheel has taken place over thousands of years. After lots of trial and error, and many false dawns, the vision and design evolved into the wheel as we know it. The roots of the wheel are argued by many to lie within nature itself. When the early man looked around him, it must have been hard to draw inspiration for the wheel, as the idea does not have a place in nature.
Professor of Biology and Anatomy Michael LaBarbera wrote in 1983, “only bacterial flagella, dung beetles and tumbleweeds come close. And even they are “wheeled organisms” in the loosest use of the term, since they use rolling as a form of locomotion”. So, where does the wheel come from?
Well, there are a few theories as to where the wheel comes from and they vary. But the truth is, on one is 100% sure where it all started. Any evidence spans the globe, from Asia, Eurasia, and Europe. One theory suggests that the wheel was used as potters’ wheels to make pots for carrying water, cooking, and storing food in Mesopotamia around 3,500 B.C.
Over the years, more and more evidence has emerged to suggest that the wheel appeared in places such as Poland, Ukraine – the word wheel even comes from the Ukrainian language. We also discovered that the wheelbarrow came from ancient Greece before for making its way to China and then made an appearance in Europe around the medieval period. Wheels even turned up in Mexico well before the Europeans turned up.
Over the last couple of millennia, the wheel developed into something that became a pillar of what has helped build civilisations. It has reached into every aspect of the rise of the modern world. It has helped make lives easier. This reaches into areas such as health, construction, mechanics, and more. It has had a great influence on machinery, agriculture, and farming which is vital to maintaining the world’s populations.
Wheels are even involved in entertainment – think Ferris Wheels! The wheel was used to lift water out of rivers and streams in mills. This was until some bright spark noticed children playing on the buckets and taking a ride on them. Thus, the Ferris Wheel was born. In 1893, George Washington Gale Ferris came up with the first Ferris wheel and the rest they say is history!
Do we even take the time to stop and think about the origins of the wheel? Ask ourselves who first thought of where this revolutionary piece of technology? There are many stories about how the wheel came about. One thing is for sure, it is one of the most important inventions known to man. It’s not possible to nail down its real origin, but it seems that it is a combination of man’s ingenuity and development over time.