Back to all articles

The History of Wheels

The wheel was a relatively late invention, coming along well after basket-weaving, sewing needles, and boats had already been created. The wheel was first invented around 3500 B.C. in Mesopotamia, and the first models served as potter’s wheels — they weren’t used for transportation until about 300 years later, when they started to show up on chariots. The wheelbarrow took even longer to show up – researchers believe the first models appeared in Greece between the fourth and sixth centuries B.C. In North America, there is evidence that the first wheels were used not for transportation, but for toys; ceramic dogs with wheels for legs have been found in pre-Columbian layers of sediment in Mexico. No matter its application, there is no denying that the concept of the wheel has fascinated humans for generations. We even have a TV show called Wheel of Fortune! But long before the program hit the airwaves, the Wheel of Fortune existed. It refers to a concept of Greek or Roman origin wherein the goddess Fortuna spins a wheel to determine the fate of mortals.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.