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Wagons

Wagon Wheels

Wheelwright: a maker and repairer of wheels and wheeled vehicles

Tools:Compasses, planes, spokeshaves, and saws would be some of the tools in a wheelwright shop. It would have been necessary to make sure that the wheel was perfectly round by using a compass. In the early days of woodworking, planes were used to shape and smooth the wood, much as sandpaper is utilized today.

There is no doubt that the wheelwright's craft is one of the oldest known to mankind. By 2000 BC, spoked wheels were in use in Asia Minor, while solid wheels date back to 5000 BC. During excavations in Peterborough, a complete wheel dating back to the Bronze Age was discovered. Britain has also yielded many ancient preserved artifacts.

In towns, wheelwrights played an important role. They made wheels for carriages, wagons, and riding chairs. The roads were rugged and rocky, which required wheels to handle rough terrain—additionally, wheelwrights made or repaired carts, wheelbarrows, and wagons.

Photos of the process of making wheels for wagons and carriages.

Shaping a steel tire


fitting a steel tire to the wagon wheel assembly








diagram of wagon wheel















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These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
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