Imagine a world with no wheels. No cars, no bicycles, no scooters, no skateboards, no roller skates. How would you get around? How would you bring things from one place to another? Your options would be to walk, use horses and other animals, use sleds, or go by boat. Not very convenient, right?
The first wheels were probably pottery wheels, invented in Sumeria around 4000 BC. Soon after, people began making wagon wheels in Central Asia. The invention of the axle made wheels even more efficient. An axle is a rod that runs through a hole in the wheel. The axle can then be attached to a wagon, the body of a car, or other equipment.
- Wheels generally spin in a balanced circle around an axle. A bicycle works this way.
- Wheels and axles make hard jobs easier.
- Doorknobs, pizza cutters, pencil sharpeners, and even electric fans all use wheels and axles.
- A wheel and axle is a type of lever. The axle is the fulcrum.
- Wheel: a round tool that simplifies work by rotating. Wheels may be solid or may have spokes. They need an axle to work efficiently.
- Axle: a rod or bar that runs through a hole in a wheel.
Question and Answer
Question: What were the first wheels made of?
Answer: The first wheels were likely made from wood or stone, depending on the materials available.
Visit Mocomi to learn more about how wheels and axles work together.