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Old 04-18-2012, 02:38 PM
Dufus Dufus is offline
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What kind of bearings did wagon wheels have?

Does anyone know what was used for wheel bearings in olden days? Conestoga wagons always have a grease bucket hanging on the side. Did they have wood axles? I'm thinking wood wheel turning on a wood axle = smoke.

Civil war artillery seems to have the same heavy type wheels as the wagons of the day. It's possible they had iron axle and bronze bushing?

Did buggies and carriages and stage coaches all use the same system?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:53 PM
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silenus silenus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dufus View Post
Does anyone know what was used for wheel bearings in olden days? Conestoga wagons always have a grease bucket hanging on the side. Did they have wood axles? I'm thinking wood wheel turning on a wood axle = smoke.
Not wood, steel. The ends of the axle were lined with a steel skein, and the wheels had steel or iron linings inside.

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Last edited by silenus; 04-18-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:09 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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I didn't notice the type of wood mentioned in silenus' post but, a lot of the wagon wheels and hubs were made out of Black Locust wood. It was common in the Ohio valley area. I have a stand outside my house that is about a hundred years old. Damn hard and heavy wood that can be steamed and set into the metal rim of a wagon wheel. It does not shrink or crack like many other woods. My neighbor once joked that they were planted here in case somebody needed to build a wagon to get back East, (we are in Oregon).


Quote:
This makes it especially useful for wagon wheels and hubs, shoe lasts, construction dowels, and an historic use that a few of us can still remember: support pins for the glass insulators
on utility poles.
http://www.forestry.state.al.us/Publ...k%20Locust.pdf
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:19 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Here is another source;
http://www.sierrapotomac.org/W_Needh...ust_060515.htm

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It was used in virtually any application calling for high strength and durability, notably tool handles, dowels and pins to fasten the planks to the ribs of wooden ships, hubs for wagon wheels, and gates. Due to its resistance to decay, it was also used as .....
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:36 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
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It's all ball bearings nowadays.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:03 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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I don't know but I happened to be reading the "Memoirs of Gen. William T. Sherman". early in the book he talks about being in Monterey in January 1847 and comments " Not a single modern wagon or cart was to be had in Monterey, nothing but the old Mexican cart with wooden wheels, drawn by two or three pairs of oxen, yoked by the horns."
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