From the very early designs used for pottery purposes to the most advanced contraptions known to mankind, the wheel has been continuously driving our civilization like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. We thought it would be a good idea to take a stroll through the many stages of the wheel evolution and see where it’s heading to now.

The Beginning

After a very long tracking and charting the history of a wheel, researches agree that 3500 BC is the year when the wheel was invented. This of course is not an exact date but more of a ballpark guess. The place is Mesopotamia, the area now occupied by war-ravaged Iraq. The first wheel for transportation purposes is approximated to 3200 BC, its purpose, of course, was to move the Mesopotamian chariots.

I’m sure some of you are thinking that this wasn’t the very first time a wheel appeared. You would be right, the very, very beginning of the wheel goes back to the Paleolithic era (15,000 to 750,000 years ago).

Back in this time, humans used logs to move large loads around. The main problem with this method of transportation was that many rollers were required, and care was required to insure that the rollers stayed true to their course. One theory as to how this obstacle was overcome suggests a platform, or sledge, was built with cross-bars fitted to the underside, thereby preventing the rollers from slipping out from under the load. Two rollers would be utilized, with two cross-bars for each roller, one fore and the other aft to the roller.

It took another 1,500 years before our ancestors thought of the next step in the wheel evolution, the spoke. What stemmed this technological breakthrough was the need for faster transportation and the idea of using less material began to evolve.