New PDF release: The Wheel: Inventions and Reinventions

By Richard W. Bulliet

ISBN-10: 0231540612

ISBN-13: 9780231540612

During this e-book, Richard W. Bulliet specializes in 3 significant levels within the evolution of the wheel and their courting to the desires and goals of human society. He starts in 4000 B.C.E. with the 1st wheels affixed to axles. He then follows with the innovation of wheels turning independently on their axles and concludes 5 thousand years later with the caster, a unmarried rotating and pivoting wheel. Bulliet’s finest discovering is basic wish to circulate issues from position to put didn't force the wheel’s improvement. If that have been the case, the wheel might have been invented at any time nearly at any place on the planet. via dividing the historical past of this expertise into 3 conceptual stages and concentrating on the explicit males, ladies, and societies that introduced it approximately, Bulliet expands the social, financial, and political importance of a device we in simple terms partly comprehend. He underscores the function of gender, wrestle, and pageant within the layout and manufacture of wheels, including vibrant imagery to demonstrate each one level in their improvement.

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Extra resources for The Wheel: Inventions and Reinventions

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Carriages replaced warhorses, armor, and painted shields as emblems of noble rank, and a rising non-aristocratic middle class with no claim on martial status could now flaunt the same symbols. Carriage owners did not initially drive their own vehicles, however. Coachmen and postilions, the men who rode on guide horses in multi-horse teams, were essentially servants until cross-country stagecoaches and urban taxis made carriage driving a trade. Although some noblemen, like the father 30 WHEEL VERSUS WHEEL F I G U R E 1 6 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec Driving His Four-in-Hand (1880).

The wheelbarrows we use, descended from medieval European designs, place the load between the wheel and the handles and thus require the operator to simultaneously lift and push. Although an animal or a second man is occasionally shown pulling a Chinese wheelbarrow that is simultaneously being stabilized and pushed from behind, animal power serves simply as a complement to human power. Wind power may also supplement muscle power by means of a small mast and sail rising over the single wheel. In general, both scroll paintings show two human porters and pack or riding animals for every cart and wheelbarrow.

Although the reasons for the abandonment of this effective form of mass transit varied from city to city, one underlying factor was the fact that streetcars did not carry freight. Thus the financial returns that railroads continued to profit from even in the face of declining passenger traffic were not available to buffer the streetcar industry against the changing transport preferences of its customers. Light rail came and went, and in some places is coming back. Monumental railroad stations came and went, though a few are now being salvaged.

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The Wheel: Inventions and Reinventions by Richard W. Bulliet

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