Max Farjon COLUMN
Arising of the wheel.
The existing explanattions of the wheel make leaps of the imagination that are all obvious because we know that the wheel is there.
That explanation starts at the rolling tree trunks underneath an object. In doing so, one must always put the free coming trunk from behind back to the front
This way of transport now lures the thoughts to jump towards the idea of cutting disks out of the trunks and to put those on shafts underneath the object.
Why would you? where would this follow from?
Nowhere is one disc signaled and not at all on a spindle.
The correct method for an explanation should start from the situation how one moved objects when there was not yet a wheel.
How one did that than?
Answer 1. by dragging over the ground by people or animals.
But there is also an answer 2: levers . One placed a wooden or iron rod between the load and a fixed object and made prying movements that did make the load move.

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If one goes out of 1, then there is not an obvious improvement conceivable. That works better with method 2.

I'm going to work this out.
To stay at a practical example I have token the construction of the pyramids in Egypt as an example. There in a long past, one has moved rectangular stone blocks during 1000 years, chances are great that than wheels emerged..
In the sequel numbers in brackets refer to figures with the same numbers in circles

As mentioned before one can move a load too heavy for man with a lever. In moving it is handy than to put the load (at pyramides it were rectangular stone blocks) upon wooden sledges (2)
The stone blocks get less easily damaged

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I think we should include this tool in the question of moving heavy loads in times that modern technical means were not yet available.


Due to limited human power this act is limited to limited size and weight.
However also at the pyramids, there is a development from small to large. This is shown by a passage on pyramids on internet:Monolithic, smooth sided pyramids did not just suddenly appear in Egypt. There was an evolutionary period, leading to the great pyramids of Giza that began with simple mastaba tombs, expanded into step pyramids. So there was a period that blocks of a format were those operations, as described above, could undergo.
When the result once was there: the wheel, one could also apply this on the larger stones.
(the loosening of rectangular blocks occurs by cleaving, that is to say. one drives conical rods in holes that have been made in one straight line of the desired fission). (one controlled the making of iron from ore and could make bars and rods of that material.)
So it is also conceivable that, with prying and the help of fittings a stone block is placed on a wooden sled (2) (one has created both in the quarry as also at the construction place two cascading levels that a has a step height of the thickness of the wooden sled. The steps have access by a slope).
Before the wheel existed one had two ways to move heavy loads. 1. the drag on by oxen, horses or by people or 2. By prying with a lever. Here the last is shown because the drag force exercise offers no starting point for easier moving. Here is shown how with an iron lever the sled with block after each sweep of the lever the distance V is moved. Because of the asymmetrical power exercise are two levers operated each by a person. This presentation assumes that the point of the lever penetrates the surface something so that they do not slip backwards during the exercise of power.
At this presentation it is assumed that the point of the lever penetrates the surface a bit so that it is not slipping backward during the strength exercise. Think of wood or limestone that allows intrusion of a point of a lever.

Moving this way is unsuitable for large distances, think of transport of quarry to construction site, which, although often
located adjacent to the building location but at least was still a number of dozens meters away.
The restriction arises because in the operation of the lever, the slope is getting steeper causing the sledge sliding down and the press on the point disappears.

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So one came to let protrude iron pins from the sides of the sled where levers with a were stung underneath. The levers were provided with tiny grooves in order to prevent the sledge sliding down.
Now could a larger swing could be made (3)

However the pins slipped out of the groove as soon as the lever just past the vertical. So one came to drill a hole through the lever so the pin could not prematurely loosen from the lever (4)

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At this method one has to bring the lever back again in his starting position after each movement. However, by making a sidearm one can still make a second swing (5). To ensure that the first and second swing were about the same size the first swing was kept a little smaller. However the solution with a sidearm at the time of the Pharaohs could not be achieved because this requires a welding technology that then still was not available. One could already make rods of iron but not much more. It is important that the tip-over points will be provided with letters in doing so A becomes the first tipping point and B the second.

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One could however execute the same idea in wood, by adding a triangle with base AB. But this triangle (grey) had to be extended (yellow) to be the leverage a whole with the triangle (6). The triangle was thick enough for a hole to be drilled in which the lever fitted . This combination performed the same as the sidearm of (5).

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If one with a triangle can continue once than the swing of course can continued one time more and actually further until one is around. The result is a regular hexagon. It is then necessary to make the lever removable so that he can be inserted in holes to the hexane socket in order to turn it around.
The swing that in Figure 5 was made amounted to 600 due one can opt for fixed angles on the drawing machine.
If one each time had chosen a random angle then there was created an irregular polygon as is shown in (7). This creates a polygonal block with a hole in the middle through which the protruding pin sticks. One can rotate that block by which the block/sledge combination moves on (7).
By providing the flat sides with circle segments, one can smooth the jerkily locomotion (dotted line at the right)

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Here is assumed of adding additions by the same equilateral triangle that produces a regular hexagon and after additions of the same circle segments results in a perfectly round wheel (8)

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Once the wheel was invented one could apply the technique for all kinds of sledging by sliding wheels with one flat side on the pin to slide (9).
Subsequently one lifted the combination stone/sled on by turning the wheel with the lever until one could provide a circle segment to the flat side (10)

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The last step in the development towards easier transport was providing the front of the sled with wheels. Thus was
born the four-wheel vehicle as a means of transport

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The crucial step that led to the wheel was the addition of pins that were supposed to prevent the load would slide down along the lever. It was one of the measures to improve the way of transport

©Max Farjon 2018
Leende, 38, 2018