Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why It Took So Long to Invent the Wheel

Date: 02 March 2012 Time: 06:24 PM ET

Wheels were invented circa 3,500 B.C., and rapidly spread across the Eastern Hemisphere.
Wheels were invented circa 3,500 B.C., and rapidly spread across the Eastern Hemisphere.
CREDIT: James Steidl | Shutterstock

Wheels are the archetype of a primitive, caveman-level technology. But in fact, they're so ingenious that it took until 3500 B.C. for someone to invent them. By that time — it was the Bronze Age — humans were already casting metal alloys, constructing canals and sailboats, and even designing complex musical instruments such as harps.
The tricky thing about the wheel is not conceiving of a cylinder rolling on its edge. It's figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that cylinder.

MORE: http://www.livescience.com/18808-invention-wheel.html


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* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
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