Seven things you never knew about wheelbarrows
From ferrying garden clippings to lugging around building materials, it’s hard to imagine how we’d manage – in either gardening or construction – without the humble wheelbarrow!
But how much do you actually know about wheelbarrow history? Well, our friends at garden products retailer Garden Chic (listed in our Directory here) have dug out seven fascinating wheelbarrow facts for you, and compiled them all into a video that you can watch below.
As keen gardeners, it's hard to imagine how we'd manage without the humble wheelbarrow!
But how much do you know about wheelbarrow history? Well, we've dug out seven fascinating wheelbarrow facts for you.
— Garden Chic UK (@gardenchicuk) October 8, 2018
1. The first wheelbarrows
The one-wheeled cart, or wheelbarrow, is thought to have been invented by the Chinese nearly 2,000 years ago…
2. Europe gets the wheelbarrow
…but it was around 1200 AD before the wheelbarrow appeared in Europe (with the wheel at the front, rather than in the centre like in China).
Those early European wheelbarrows tended to be used in agriculture, mining and construction, rather than in medieval gardening!
3. Wheelbarrows in art
Later, the wheelbarrow appears in European art. This is a detail of the 1859 painting ‘The Angelus’ by French artist Millet.
4. An early Dyson invention
Somewhat more recently, James Dyson invented a new type of wheelbarrow before he became better known for vacuum cleaners.
Released in 1974, the Ballbarrow’s unique feature was its spherical plastic wheel.
5. Electric wheelbarrows
1998 saw the first electric power-assisted wheelbarrow, the Honda HPE60. This meant it could carry heavier loads than usual.
6. Wheelbarrows as sport
Head to Hungary, though, and the annual international Wheelbarrolympics feature the non-motorised kind!
Held in the village of Hosszúhetény, participants in the Talicskaolimpia engage in various tests of speed and skill… all involving wheelbarrows.
7. The UK’s wheelbarrow capital
Closer to home, the UK has its own wheelbarrow capital… Walsall.
The town is home to UK wheelbarrow market leader Haemmerlin, which produces barrows under the Haemmerlin and Chillington brands.
The company’s heritage stretches back to 1867 in France, but it has manufactured in Walsall since 1985.
So there you have it! Wheelbarrows are much more interesting than you might imagine.
If you want to know more, the Garden Chic website at gardenchic.co.uk has a wide range of Haemmerlin and Chillington wheelbarrows to choose from.