The Story of Wheels

One such invention, which brought about a drastic change in the whole world, is the ‘Invention of Wheels’. We cannot bet on who invented wheels, though, there are many who believe that it was first used around 3500 B.C in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

The concept of wheels and its beginning can be dated back as far as the Paleolithic era (15,000 to 75,000 years ago). The so called wheels were nothing more than logs, placed beneath the object to be moved. Gradually, wheels started taking the form that we see today. However, during the course of its transformation there were many concepts that were implemented and abandoned. Picture a cart, a chariot, classic cars and a modern day super-car.
What Did They Come Up With?

Invention of wheels is the root of the industrial revolution. Many started implementing the concept of wheel in different areas and the improvisation continued almost every day. It helped a lot in the invention of mechanical devices. Inventions like clocks, cogwheels and water wheels were a few things that came into existence.

The most innovative invention that man made with the help of wheels is the modern day transportation system. Roads and Railways, Air and Water transportation industries evolved very quickly. They started competing with each other and among themselves. This competition gave rise to better transportation system. Among these, the road transportation is considered to be the most popular and essential means of transportation.

Road Transportation – Who Made What?

  • Ferdinand Verbiest built the first steam-powered vehicle around 1672 as a toy for the Chinese Emperor. He was a member of a Jesuit mission in China. The vehicle was too small to carry a driver but it was, definitely, the first working steam-powered vehicle.
  • In 1806, Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz, built an engine that was powered by internal combustion of a hydrogen and oxygen mixture.
  • In 1815, Josef Bozek, a professor at Prague Polytechnic, built an oil-fired steam car.
  • In 1828, Ányos Jedlik, a Hungarian, invented an early type of electric motor. With the help of this new motor he created a tiny model car.
  • In 1834, a Vermont blacksmith named Thomas Davenport, the inventor of the first American DC electrical motor, installed his motor in a small model car. He operated his model car on a short circular electricity track.
  • In 1838, Walter Hancock, builder and operator of London steam buses, built a four-seat steam phaeton.
  • In 1873, Amédée Bollée, built self-propelled steam road vehicles to transport passengers. Some people define this as the first “real” automobile.
  • Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler made the first cars in 1885 and 1886. Karl Benz is also regarded as the true inventor of modern day cars. Since then many automobile industries have come into existence. There were companies strictly focused on making private cars while others made vehicles for public transportation.
  • In 1898, Louis Renault invented an automobile with fixed drive shaft and ring and pinion gear. Many called this the first hot rod in history. This highlighted Renault and his brothers into the car industry.
  • From 1919 to 1929, the front-engine cars dominated the scene. These cars had closed bodies and standardized controls.
  • From 1936 to 1955, MG T series – sports cars were high in demand. They mostly targeted the youth. Plus, they came at affordable price.
  • During 1946, newer cars integrated fenders and fully closed bodies. An aero dynamical design and all-synchromesh gearbox began to dominate the car market. They featured new saloon/sedan body which incorporated trunks at the rear for storage.
  • Throughout the 1950s, engine power and vehicle speeds rose. Designs became more integrated and artful, and cars spread across the world.

Since 1950s, many automobile companies started competing with each other. The competition led to innovation that was coming up almost every day. Names like Jaguar, Ford, Mercedes, General Motors, Nissan, Renault and BMW became the leaders of automobile industries.