Two Basic Questions About Ancient Chinese Carts

#1
1. I do know about the pulley and bucket systems that were used in ancient Chinese salt mines as portrayed in the murals. However, did the ancient Chinese ever use the rail system whereby the carts were rolled on top of wooden rails or on top of carved stone depressions?

2. When were suspensions, if ever, added to Chinese carriages/wagons/chariots historically before the modern era?
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,039
#2
1. I do know about the pulley and bucket systems that were used in ancient Chinese salt mines as portrayed in the murals. However, did the ancient Chinese ever use the rail system whereby the carts were rolled on top of wooden rails or on top of carved stone depressions?

2. When were suspensions, if ever, added to Chinese carriages/wagons/chariots historically before the modern era?
1. I.havs seen no evidence, arheological or textual, that the premodern Chinese ever used a rail type sytems, either ancient groves in the ground, or wooden rails to run the cart wheels along. So the answer is now.


2. Looking at examples of ancient Chinese chariots and carts, I don't see any evidence of the use of springs for suspension, nor have any of the sources I.have read mention the use of springs on Chinese carts, wagons. So, no, ancient Chinese carts, wagons did not use springs before the modern era.

I have read articles that stated the Chinese chariots did not use pivoting axles on their chariots and carriages, which restricted the ability of the Chinese vehicles to turn. So if the Chinese were not using pivoting axles, it is not surprising they were not using springs either.

But it must be pointed out that that the use of "springs" was rare until modern times for carriages and wagons anywhere. Although Romans apparently used springs in their carriages, the hat seems one of the technologies that declined after their fall, and you don't again see carriages using some kind of suspension (using leather straps or chains) until the later medieval period. But the use of such suspension systems was restricted and common carts for hauling loads would not be using them. Steel springs were started to be used in the 18th century.
 
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#3
Well, thanks for the answers Bart.
Another question for those who know the details (3 questions in this thread now):

Were any types of lubrication used on contact points within the joints of the cart?
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,039
#4
Well, thanks for the answers Bart.
Another question for those who know the details (3 questions in this thread now):

Were any types of lubrication used on contact points within the joints of the cart?
Apparently yes. I discovered an article by Joseph Needham in A "Science and Civilization in China Workshop" paper that discussed the use of lubrication in Chinese carts and other applications.

However, I also.discovered a 1910 Harper weekly article that complained that although the Chinese must of known about lubrication ion, they apparently we're not using it in their wheel barrows because of all the racket the wheel barrows generated.