Nothing like the wheel exists in nature; it may be one of humanity's greatest inventions. In Wheels, writer and illustrator Edwin Tunis traces the development of the wheel over 5,000 years, his accurate drawings and lucid text depicting the human victory over space and inertia. Beginning with the first primitive form of wheel the captive roller Tunis takes readers through the history of land transportation from the Elamite chariot the first recorded passenger chariot to the ancient wheeled vehicles of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Chinese, and Indians; the whirlicotes, carrosses, berlines, fiacres, and phaetons that traveled the roads of Europe from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Age; the Conestoga wagons, prairie schooners, and Concord coaches that carried Americans westward; the velocipede, the world's first bicycle, and its successor, the penny-farthing; steam-powered wheeled carriages like the Dudgeon and La Mancelle; Karl Benz's 1885 gasoline tricycle and the 1896 Ford quadricycle; the roadsters of the Jazz Age; and the gloriously chromed and tail-finned sedans of the 1950s.
The history of the wheel is the story of civilization, and in Wheels which won the Boy's Club of America's Gold Medal when it was first published in 1955 Tunis tells it with wit and illustrates it with striking drawings that will delight readers of all ages.
Edwin Tunis (18971973) was born in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and spent much of his life in Maryland. A well-known artist, illustrator, and muralist, his work appeared at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Society of American Etchers, the National Academy of Design, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. His other books include Colonial Craftsmen; Colonial Living; Weapons; Oars, Sails and Steam; and The Tavern at the Ferry, all available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.