An invention which advances human progress and civilization
The discovery that appears to be the most helpful in human progress and civilization, is the round object called the wheel. It, perhaps, belongs to the neo-lithic or the new Stone Age.
During its initial stages it must have revolutionized the life-style of mankind. Before it dawned on human life man’s chief source of communication must have been his two legs, or the domesticated animals. The horse, the ass and the different breeds of cattle were his chief sources of communication.
Naturally human mobility was, perforce, confined to a limited area and life was leisurely. But with the advent of the wheel a new spirit of exploration and joy must have inspired mankind. We know that the Wright brothers had tied wings to their persons and suffered fractures. But the very idea that one can fly like the birds if he had wings and that it is a feasible project, makes the Wright brothers immortal in history. Similarly those men that strove to roll on ground by tieing wheels to their legs, too, must have suffered falls time and again. People, too, must have laughed at their silly idea. But gradually the notion becomes a reality. Wheels were fitted on bare planks which later developed into carriages.
The wheels thus brought to our life mobility. This initial advantage which we owe to this object has remained with us till this day. All kinds of fast moving objects owe their worth to the wheel.
The aeroplane cannot take off without the wheel. The helicopter, too, needs the wheeling propeller to lift itself. The wheel functions as a turbine in engines and machines to lend them mechanical advantage.
Even in daily life this wheel serves us loyally as a friend. Village women feel much at ease as they draw water from the wells with the advantages of the pulley. Again, whether as a domestic apparatus or in the flour mills, it is the wheel that comes to our aid.
Modern age is one of science. Even the medical science owes its allegiance to this ultra-primitive invention, the wheel. The wheel-chair has brought a new life to the physically disabled due to deformed legs. We are all familiar with the happy sight of ambitious, but disabled boys that go to schools and colleges on their new-fangled vehicles. They are kinds of rickshaws in which the design is reversed. Of the two hands of the disabled man, one functions as the paddle, while the other controls the lever for direction. The wheel-chairs are lifted on board the aircraft and distance proves no bar.
Thus, wherever one looks, form the days of the Mahabharata to the present day, one simply wonders at this great invention. The modes of its application have changed with time and become more complex, but the simple principle of the rotating object remains unchanged as the basic reality.
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