He Became Rich with a Pencil

Simple But Great Invention – the Wheel

When it comes to wheels, it’s common enough to see them everywhere. But did you know that the invention of the wheel is considered one of the most outstanding designs in human history? Many inventions were developed based on the revelations of nature, such as the wing from a bird’s wing or the gas analyzer from a fly. On the other hand, the wheel is an invention that humans did not take from such revelations and is now nearly 5,500 years old.

The wheel revolutionized the way humans traveled and transported goods. Naturally, it led to the development of cities on a large scale. But like many great inventions, the wheel was not invented in a day. Instead, its creation was a long, gradual process. The first wheel appeared as a potter’s wheel, 300 years before the invention of the chariot.

Broncos pottery, found in Poland in 3370 BC, depicts a pattern of rectangles and several circles. It was believed to be the earliest evidence of the use of wheels and axles.

The truth is, without this subsequent development, the wheel would be nothing more than a disk. It was, however, the concept of wheel-shaft coupling that formally changed early modes of transportation and communication. A nearly perfect circle and a smooth hole in the center of the wheel are required to combine with an axis to minimize friction and achieve rotation. Early humans, however, were limited in their progress due to the lack of proper metal tools to achieve such conditions. As the required tools and the concept of the wheel and axle combination continued to develop, humankind was able to create a fixed axle to make vehicles more stable and able to turn better.

Apart from transportation, the wheel was also used for other purposes. Some examples include the water wheel once used to generate electricity, the spinning wheel for spinning fibers, gears for the machinery of the industrial revolution, and so on. 

Canadian Inventors Association

However, it is worth mentioning that no matter how the wheel was innovated or developed, it could not be patented. This is because the wheel was invented long before the establishment of the patent system. One of the great benefits of the patent system is that it prevents people from wasting time researching and designing innovations that have already been developed while improving the efficiency of social resources. Ultimately, this encourages inventors to make their ideas public. In this way, applying for a patent is not only beneficial to the inventors, but also all of humanity.

A salute to all the wise men, known and unknown, ancient and recent!

Simple but Practical Invention: The Six-edged Pencil

Have you ever thought about why pencils are mostly shaped as hexagonal prisms and not in any other shape?

The pencil was initially designed as a cylinder. It was later invented as a six-sided cylinder to prevent it from rolling and breaking. At the same time, the hexagonal prism is closer to the shape of a circle than the triangular or quadrangular prism. Furthermore, it is more comfortable to hold. The pa·tent for this pencil earned hundreds of thousands of pounds in licensing fees, a price that would have been a big profit at the time.

Cheap and widely used, this pencil is now a staple part of everyday life. Maybe someone once had the idea to improve the unstable characteristics of the cylinder pencil. Still, they gave up too quickly because they thought it was too simple. Thus, they missed out on a large profit and the opportunity to improve everyday life. No matter how good the idea is, without studying its practicality or filing a patent, an idea will only remain an idea.

Hundreds of patents have been developed from the pencil. Such patents include the pencil eraser, the automatic pencil, and the pen-sharpener that now permeates our lives. These are simple but incredibly useful inventions.

We thank all the inventors who are willing to use their wisdom to turn their ideas into practical products for the sake of improving our daily lives and society as a whole.

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