By Rick Shapiro
Keywords in Article: Utility wagons, little red wagons, red wagon, red wagons, kid wagons, child/children wagons, beach wagons, garden wagons, toy wagons, best wagons, wagon equipment, folding wagons, fold up/foldaway/wagons, compact wagons, hideaway wagons, stow wagons, beach carts, garden carts, best carts, collapsible/collapsing wagons, collapsible carts, folding wheel wagons, fold up wheel wagons/carts, thinnest wagons, hideaway wagons, car trunk wagons, lightweight wagons, folding carts, utility storage carts, boat cart, marine cart, sports cart, fishing cart, camping cart., trolleys, trolley, shopping carts, utility carts, lawn/garden carts, marine carts, boating/dock carts, collapsible carts, fold up carts, plastic carts, wagon carts, lawn carts, garden carts, lawn & garden carts, metal carts, rolling carts. Fold flat, compact carts, wagons, wheelbarrows website information: www.PancakeWheel.com Fold flat, compact world's thinnest folding carts, wagons, wheelbarrows for sale: www.CompactSolutionsOnline.com Best travel carts, best travel wagons, best foldup wagons and carts
My name is Rick Shapiro and I am an inventor of folding carts, wagons, wheelbarrows and similar wheeled devices (invention website: www.PancakeWheel.com
). I have been inventing consumer wheel products that fold flat or fold compactly since 2000, and hold more than 15 U.S. patents, and numerous international patents, on the world's most compact, fold flat wheeled products such as carts, wagons, trolleys, wheelbarrows, jogging strollers, etc. making me the most prolific U.S. inventor in the field of fold flat consumer carts and wagons in the last decade. Before filing for U.S. patents on my world's thinnest cart and wagons products, I had to become familiar with many variations of cart and wagon inventions, often whether or not the cart/wagon has ever been manufactured or commercialized. This meant studying all kinds of carts/wagons, even those carts never seen in a store or marketplace. Under the worldwide patent systems, whether or not the cart/wagon was sold is irrelevant–no patent can be granted on any cart/wagon that has all attributes that have either been invented before or ever sold woldwide even if never patented.
Going Way Back On Wheels, Carts, Chariots, Trolleys and Wagons
Any history of wheeled carts/wagons must start with reference to the invention of the wheel it self. Most parties regard wheels as one of the oldest and most important inventions, originated in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, in the fifth millennium B.C., originally a part of the function of a potter's wheel.There are articles which mildly claim that the invention of the wheel was amazing because it didn't exist in nature.This is junk science because any kid that has studied a "roly poly" (also called a "rollie pollie" or pill bug) has seen a wheel in nature, as this ancient bug rolls itself into a ball or wheel for protection.The supposedly earliest picture of what may be a wheeled vehicle, actually is a wagon that had four wheels and two axles, is on a pot which is from 3500 B.C. The pot was excavated in southern Poland. Later, what is commonly called the chariot was depicted on early Chinese wheeled vehicles, between 2000 and 1200 B.C.
The seemingly simple spoked wheel was a major invention because it allowed for lighter more mobile chariots, which were key devices used in war and battle in ancient times.Horse drawn spoke wheel war chariots wereused by the Mediterranean peoples on the Greek peninsula.Celtic chariots introduced in iron rim around the wheel on these chariots. A visit to Pompeii in Italy reveals deep chariot wheel ruts right through solid stone from decades of chariots rolling though the still preserved streets.
It is also well known that chariot type carts were used throughout the Roman Empire.As many as 10 horses or even animals dogs and tigers would pull chariot carts during Roman times. The famous Circus Maximus track could hold up to 12 chariot carts on its track.
Just before the widespread use of automobiles,the chariot cart was still used with horses during the Russian civil war of 1918 to 1920. The Russian "tachanka" was a cart or wagon with a machine gun mounted on the cart, pointing in the direction opposite the direction of travel of the cart/vehicle. Because the machine gun was pointed in the opposite direction of travel, it was apparently not very effective and was only briefly used. The motor vehicle was fast becoming the preferred transportation method, especially for war.
What is a trolley? A trolley is a broad definition of a cart or wagon, especially in Great Britain. Apparently, it often is referring to a cart or wagon with a flat bed, laying horizontal to a rolling surface, but may refer to a simple cart also.
In France/French languages, a cart or wagon is often called a chariot. In german, the word is often "wagon" for a cart or wagon. Most, but not all ancient carts or chariots were designed for animals to pull and few were designed with a typical handle, although the rickshaw generally had two elongated handles for a person to pull the cart.
Inventions That Revolutionized Carts and Wagons
There are a number of 19th and 20th Century inventions that contributed to the modern cart and wagon..Carts long ago were originally named after the type of animal that pulled them, such as the horse cart, the ox cart or the dog cart, and even now are called utility carts, or garden carts. Carts have taken many forms and shapes but they are always used for transporting something: whether cargo or persons.
Technically, a modern cart has two to three wheels and wheels that will rotate, but traditionally the ancient cart did not have wheel that rotated 360 degrees for turning easier . On the other hand, wagons usually have 360̊ rotating wheels that assist with turning the device with a push or pull handle. As a technical matter a wagon has 360 degree rotating wheels and a cart does not, but in modern English the typical person refers to a cart in a wagon interchangeably.
In the late 1800s, John Lindsay of Mississippi was granted a U.S. Patent on what became commonly called the log wagon. Lindsay's patent called for a vehicle specially for hauling logs, timber and other heavy material, and his log wagon (which was truly a cart) had a total of eight wheels or trucks with a special interconnection between the forward and the rear "trucks" (segments) that could move either up and down or move side to side/ laterally to enable turning large heavy loads around angles or corners better.
Any discussion of modern carts in wagons cannot omit reference to the pneumatic tire, which is the air filled tire. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1844 that was later used in tires for a variety of carts in wagons. John Dunlop invented the air filled or pneumatic tire for use with bicycles.In 1903 P W Litchfield of the Goodyear tire company patented the first tubeless tire, but it was never fully exploited until its use on the Packard auto in 1954. Many carts and wagons today have air filled tires, although today's carts/wagons either have air tires, solid hard rubber tires, or the newer "no flat" (EVA) softer tire.
Innovations On Modern Carts and Wagons, Including Key Fold Flat Inventions
Between 1900 and 1910 there were a number of United States patents relating to baby carriages that folded into a suitcase like box. Long was granted a patent in 1911 for a baby carriage that folded into a suitcase.The device did not provide for fully rotatable (360 degree) wheels or tires however, and did not have a pull handle typically used on a wagon. Nonetheless, the US inventor was thinking about ways to make carriages more compact, well before the modern umbrella stroller was ever close to being invented.
Following World War II, Lindabury was granted a 1947 patent on a foldable stroller which folded into a neat rectangular shape.
What is called the "shopping cart" was first invented in the late 1930's by Sylvan Goldman, owner of a chain of grocery stores. Until his invention, grocery shoppers had not pushed wheeled carts, but instead carried a hand cart. Many other small innovations later, the typical metal wire shopping cart evolved, with at least two front caster wheels. During the 1950's the ubiquitous double slots in the shopping carts were introduced, allowing a child to be seated in the cart while the parent pushed the wheeled shopping cart.
In 1959, Rear was granted a US patent on a foldable trailer, typically pulled by a car. Importantly, the trailer had two wheels and had a basic way that the wheels folded under the cargo trailer. However, this was not really a wagon or cart, as it was designed to be pulled by a vehicle.
Radio Flyer is synonymous with wagons, and what in the U.S.A. is called the little red wagon. These wagon products were sold since the 1920's, with many of the original wagons being called "coaster wagons" as the child could steer the wagon with the handle folded partly back inside the wagon. Many years later, Pasin was granted a 1966 patent which he assigned to Radio Flyer, for a new type of easy construction of a steel wagon base, which became commonly seen as the typical metal little red wagon popularized by Radio Flyer. Pasin's patent explained that the metal body of the tub/base could be stacked and stored during production, and had smoothed metal edges on the top and corners, and described how the metal would be rolled during manufacturing. Although the Pasin invented wagon did not have any fold flat innovations, the construction of the metal body was significant and was mass-produced by Radio Flyer successfully for many years, and then the technology passed to other companies making similar wagons.
Lane was granted a patent in 1978 for a four wheeled luggage style flat cart with a pull strap, but importantly the Lane cart had four folding walls that could fold down on top of the cart to make it compact. It had a primitive way for the small wheels to be folded partly along the side of the cart also.
Morrison was granted a patent in 1988 for a new type of wheel for a trailer used for yachts and boats.It essentially provided for a goose-neck tire that had a built-in caster angle so when the trailer was moved around on its forward wheel it would easily be manipulated. Morrison called for also being able to unlock and swivel the single forword tire up into a parallel position with the forward frame portion of the trailer.
In 1989 Gordon Smith was granted a patent on what he called a collapsible transport cart, which provided that all the walls could be folded down on top of the cart, and a handle with a vertical (upright) position, which he called a ready position. The same year, Simjian was granted a US patent for a cart with foldable sidewalls and a handle that neatly retracted inwards and under the cart.In that same watershed year of folding cart invention features, Havlovitz obtained a US patent and for a very simple solid base cart with a metal U shape handle that could be released and folded up and over the top of the cart for storage. This patent was assigned to Republic Tool and the cart was widely sold in the United States.
In 1999 Chumley was granted a patent for a game (hunting) cart which had two wheels that could be unlatched, and then slid along the cart frame and could then be folded into a more compact profile. The game cart either had a fabric or metal ribbed partly opened interior portion.He described that the wheels could be moved slightly offset to each other when the tires were folded inside the profile of the device..The device looked somewhat like a hand truck mixed with a two wheeled cart.
In 2001, I was granted a U.S. patent for a new compact, fold flat cart or wagon with folding walls, handles and tires. The US patent was titled Collapsible compact cart with pivoting wheel construction, number 6, 220, 611. One major innovation I developed was the "pivoting wheel axle assembly," which provided that a typical cart or wagon tire/wheel and axle could be easily collapsed and folded inside the cart or wagon bed/tub/base. I also incorporated a new fold flat handle design and some other innovations. My patent described how the pivoting wheel assembly is formed from the wall of the cart/wagon and pivots/folds inside the cart, along with the folding walls and handle, creating a "Pancake ® flat" profile for the wagon or cart. This patent launched a long struggle to refine the pivoting wheel assembly for an easily manufactured cart or wagon with the world's thinnest and most compact profile. Fold flat, collapsible carts, wagons and/or wheelbarrows featuring Pancake ® folding wheel designs are now for sale in the U.S. (see www.CompactSolutionsOnline.comand other online carts and wagons sellers.
Another neat cart/wagon invention was made by Louis Ritucci, for a folding wagon/cart granted a U.S. patent in 2005. The preferred design is a wagon with two separate base portions connected with a hinger, foldable upright walls, and a telescoping/recessing handle. The cart/wagon has two 360 degree rotating wheels, a pull handle and flat base, but all the parts fold into a suitcase like flat profile, including the handle.
I have been granted 14 other US patents applying fold flat wheel axle concepts to jogging strollers, wheelbarrows, other compact wagons and carts, trailers and child carriers, child's fold flat ride on cars, folding tricycles, and even foot power/battery/motor power fold flat go carts.
Pancake Wheel invention website: www.PancakeWheel.com
Compact Solutions, Inc. Sales website: http://compactsolutionsonline.com
More invention Information on the history of folding wagons and carts:
Historical Inventions-Wheelbarrows: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blwheelbarrow.htm
Encyclopedia information on wheelbarrows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheelbarrow
History of the Common Shopping Cart: http://www.designboom.com/history/cart.html
Encyclopedia History of the Cart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cart
Encyclopedia History of the Log Wagon: http://www.samlindsey.com/Logging/8Wheel/Wagon_Co_Hist.asp
Encyclopedia History of the Wagon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagons