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Wooden car wheels

Some inventions have a longer useful period than others.

Once upon a time, a little before 900BC, a proto-Celt invented a new way of making wheels. The technique soon caught on and became a beautifully refined art. By and by other proto- Celts took to burying their dead in graves with their wagons, thus leaving evidence of their fine workmanship. The wheel made with an iron tyre had come to stay…play with the word ‘tyre’ and its synonym ‘bond’ and the central point of this invention is apparent, the iron hoop bound [‘tied’] the parts of the wheel together, making a stronger construction than previous methods had given*. It was practical, strong and elegant, and remained in use until the Romans gave up running what I have heard referred to as their sordid empire.

And then it vanished, to reappear sometime in the 18th century. But it headed for a fall.

Figure 1 a damaged wheel, and a good one, from a 1902 Oldsmobile,

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