[LMB] Microscopy

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Thu Feb 6 07:11:35 GMT 2020


Long article on the Chinese wheelbarrow, from a site that will probably
be of interest to many of you.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/12/the-chinese-wheelbarrow.html

On Wed, Feb 05, 2020 at 12:25:24PM -0500, WalterStuartBushell wrote:
> > On Feb 5, 2020, at 10:38 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.

> Yes, but they surely could have used wheelbarrows.

Maybe, sometimes.  Would you want to lift a heavy wheelbarrow over steps
cut into a mountain side, or over a rope bridge?

On Wed, Feb 05, 2020 at 11:29:20AM -0700, Margaret Dean wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 8:39 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.
> 
> Besides the unsuitable terrain, neither the Incas or any of the other New
> World civilizations had suitable draft animals to pull wheeled vehicles.
> Llamas were the best they could do, and they could carry loads but not pull
> carts.

If you don't have draft animals, then humans are moving things.  Humans
benefit from wheels just as much as animals do.  Rickshaws,
wheelbarrows, shopping carts, wheeled luggage.

And why couldn't llamas pull carts?  You might need smaller carts, or
more llamas.

Small passenger carts pictured here:
https://www.jnkllamas.com/llama-driving--llama-carting-information.html

Cecil Adams thought maybe wheel invention is actually hard and dependent
on a lot of work with sledging.
https://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/223/why-did-the-peoples-of-the-new-world-fail-to-invent-the-wheel/

But a civilization that regularly runs from the seacoast to the
mountains might find wheels less useful.

A comment here suggests
https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Maya-Aztecs-and-Inca-not-invent-the-wheel?share=1

"The wheel was invented in one of two places: Mesopotamia and the plains
of Central Asia somewhat to the north of Mesopotamia. If you were to
visit those places, one of the first things you’d notice about them is
how flat they are. They’re composed of large expanses of hard, even
ground, which is one of the hidden prerequisites to developing the
wheel. A turny-thing you can attach to a box and pull along behind you
is all well and good, but it does you no good if you don’t have roads or
ground firm enough to use as a road."

-xx- Damien X-)


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