[LMB] Microscopy

Richard Molpus rgmolpus at flash.net
Wed Feb 5 16:39:53 GMT 2020


 Europe had wheelbarrows, but they were a different design from what the Chinese used.
Chinese wheelbarrows have a center wheel, with trays on either side, like saddlebags or panniers, and a set of shafts for the user to hold. the majority of the weight was carried on the central wheel.
The European wheelbarrow had a load bucket supported on one end by a wheel, and the guide handles on the other, so the user has to support a large portion of the load.
The origin of the European wheelbarrow is the barrow; a box with handles on both ends; two people have to carry it. Replace one person with a wheel, and you've got a wheelbarrow.
I'm uncertain of the development of the Chinese wheelbarrow; it's more a matter of replacing a pony and saddlebags with a wheel as support element, or creating a single wheel cart. The key design element of the Chinese cart is that the load is on the wheel, so the user isn't lifting any significant part of the load. 

A European Wheelbarrow is inefficient, as the user has to support much of the load- the design with wheel at one end and user at the other means that a second class lever is present, the weight felt by the user is a significant fraction of the weight of the load. the Chinese Wheelbarrow has the weight directly on the wheel, so the user only has to provide stability and motive force. This is much more efficient. 

The Chinese wheelbarrow is suited for log distance travel, with the load supported on the wheel; on smooth ground. It's a single wheel cart, replacing a pony or horse with a person as the motive source. Supposedly, a single person and a wheelbarrow could carry the rice a person would need for a year; which was a boon to military logistics. 

Evidence from painting and illustrations show the Chinese using their type of wheelbarrow from 118 AD; There is evidence from Greece that they had some sort of single wheel cart in 400 BC. 

Oddly, the Russians' didn't have wheelbarrows as late as the construction of the City of St. Petersburg; accounts of the time have the earth excavated being moved in hand-carried boxes or baskets, or in cloth bags. 

The Lakewalkers might have center wheel carts close to the Chinese style, for small loads; Farmers probably have European type wheeled barrows for moving stuff around the farmyard. 

   On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 9:47:41 AM CST, Louann Miller <domelouann at gmail.com> wrote:  
 
 We all know about a lot of things China had that the west didn't get around
to at the same tech levels -- gunpowder, movable type, etc. But did you
know, also *wheelbarrows?*


On Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 9:40 AM WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote:

> The Incas Lack of wheels for transport were one of the things I was
> thinking of when I said that different conditions produced different tools.
> The Incas, IIRC, didn’t have lone flat areas conducive to roads for wheeled
> vehicles. The llamas were used as pack animals and could handle steps.
>
> Christian, husband, father, granddaddy, son, American. Here I stand. I can
> do no other. God help me.
> William A Wenrich
> ________________________________
> From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of
> Karen A. Wyle <kawyle at att.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 8:25:22 AM
> To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: [LMB] Microscopy
>
> Didn't the Aztecs or some other culture in the region have wheels on toys
> but miss using them on transport?
> Karen A. Wyle
>    On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 10:24:19 AM EST, Howard Brazee <
> howard at brazee.net> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 5, 2020, at 7:50 AM, WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote:
> >
> > I don’t believe in “tech levels”. Different societies under different
> conditions develop different tools. However, in spite of a fairly mature
> glass industry, there is no mention of any type of lenses in the WGW. No
> eyeglasses or magnifying glass of any sort. Glassforge can produce large
> quantities of window glass, enough to transport it across the
> half-continent available to them. They make decorative glass bowls. I don’t
> understand why no lenses.
>
> It can be odd when a society appears to miss an easy technology.
> Sometimes the technology appears to be simple, such as stirrups or horse
> collars (both of which have had major impacts).
>
> I imagine there are simple philosophies that we also miss.
> --
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