Fiction For Kids Kids Magazine Science Magazine for Kids Activities for Kids Online Games for Kids children's reference shelf community of international children community of international children
Pitara Kids Home > Magazine > Features for kids

The Wheel

By Mir Najabat Ali; Illustrations by: Ahmed; Published by National Book Trust, India.

The wheel is perhaps manís greatest invention. Simple as it seems, it is the very basis of movement. The cart, the cycle, the motor-car and the railway train move on wheels. Even aircraft which fly thousands of kilometres through the air need wheels for taking-off and landing. It is not only for transport that the wheel is vital. Machines that produce various goods for us, watches that tell us the time, generators that produce electricity, and many gadgets which have become essential in our day-to-day life cannot work without a wheel.

The Wheel, Features for kids: 10_1.jpg One would, therefore, think that the inventor of the wheel must have earned great fame and fortune. But as a matter of fact, no one even knows who the inventor was. You can imagine how difficult it must have been for man to move about or carry heavy loads without a wheeled vehicle. It was only 5000 years ago (about 3000 B.C.) that some ingenious person invented this simple device which has become the most important and the most universal tool of man today.

The wheel did not immediately put an end to the use of beasts of burden for carrying loads. In fact, in some countries of Asia and Africa not only animals but men also are used to carry goods and passengers even today. Even in technically advanced countries, men and beasts are still used at places where machines with wheels cannot reach, for instance, on snow-bound mountains and in dense forests.

The Wheel, Features for kids: 10_2.jpg Before the invention of the wheel, it must have very difficult to travel long distances. Travellers carried their belongings on their backs and faced many hazards on the way. There were no hotels or serais on the route where they could take shelter or rest and eat. Very few, therefore, dared to travel. Even those who undertook a journey did not know when they would reach their destination and whether they would return home safely.

How did the wheel come into existence? Let us go back to manís early history. Man first began to tame animals for his use. The first animal to be tamed was the dog. It kept watch and warned its master of approaching danger. The dog was also used in hunting.

Man soon discovered that a pack of dogs could pull a fairly heavy load. He made a frame of sticks, placed loads on it and made dogs pull it. This vehicle was called a sledge. Sometimes the man himself sat on the sledge and had a ride. In Northern Europe, sledges made of raw hide, bark or hollowed tree-trunks were used long before the invention of the wheel. In Egypt and Syria sledges were used for shifting huge stone statues even after the wheel was adopted for chariots and wagons.

Next Page

The Wheel [Features for kids]
By Mir Najabat Ali; Illustrations by: Ahmed; Published by National Book Trust, India.


Pitara Kids Home > Magazine > Features for kids

Children's Games

Games for children of all ages. Some test your motor skills and reflexes; others require math or logic.... Children's games

Jumpy Junior

Make friends with Jumpy Jr. - our animated turtle never fails to amaze little kids... Play now

Custom Search