Puppy power, or wheelbarrows made easy

Just a quick one adding to my last post on human-powered transport. I found this great pic in our image archive of a sail-assisted wheelbarrow from China. It makes perfect sense, so long as the wind tends to blow in one direction most of the time.

Sail-assisted wheelbarrow, 18th century (Science Museum / Science & Society)

Sail-assisted wheelbarrow, 18th century (Science Museum / Science & Society)

Until the nineteenth century, all freight not transported by muscle was sent on its way by wind, but since the development of steam power, we’ve tended to turn our back on this free resource. Now, in an effort to reduce fuel use at sea, one option might be wind-assisted ships, where a steerable sail can top up the power provided by the diesel engines. More on this another time.

In the meantime, here’s another wheelbarrow with a very different sort of power source:

Puppies in a wheelbarrow, May 1978 (Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society)

Oh, come off it! You’d need a heart of flint not to think that’s cute. It’s not all container ships and crankshafts here at Stories From The Stores, you know…

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