BC: The Tutankhamuns class
1333 BC The Tutankhamun-class chariot,
the earliest high-performance machine was
Several elements hint of thoughtful invention. The complex suspension
system of springs and shock absorbers had advantages in
ride quality and safety. It's hard to
imagine a better chariot made with ancient
construction even if we were to apply today's most advanced
formulas and methods.
Empire: Leaf Springs
springs in one form or another have been
used since the Romans suspended a
called a Pilentum on elastic wooden poles. The first steel
spring put on a vehicle was a single flat plate installed
on carriages by the
French in the 18th
Leonardo da Vinci & the Matchlock
historical experts claim Leonardo da Vinci
began work on improving the matchlock
pistol around 1493.
He designed a spring that would allow a firearm to be
triggered with just one hand. Da Vinci enclosed the powder
pan and fuse within
the firearm, sealing it tightly from
the elements. Then he created the wheel
lock, a steel
wheel attached by a chain to a powerful spring. When the trigger
was pulled a spring released the built up tension, forcing
the wheel to spin
rapidly. Then the wheel strikes a piece
of iron pyrite, creating a spark that
detonates the powder
in the pan. This propelled the ammunition out of the
barrel. Da Vinci's weapon was not realized until around
the year 1510. The
mechanism worked just as he has
envisioned. Wheel lock pistols soon became
whoever could afford one.
1675: Christian Huygens invents the balance
1675 Christian Huygens invents the balance
spring for portable timekeepers at
the same time as Robert
Hooke claims the same invention and expounds his law -
tensio sic vis - for the properties of springs.
R. Tradwell received patent No. 792 for
the 1st coil spring
1763 R. Tredwell was issued the first patent
for the coil spring, British patent
No. 792. The main
advantage of coil springs was that they did not have to be
spread apart and be lubricated periodically to keep them
from squeaking, as leaf
The Steel Coil Spring
the industrial revolution came the steel
coil spring. It was first patented in
America for use in a
chair seat in 1857.
Heinrich Westphal invents the innerspring
Westphal was credited with inventing
the innerspring mattress in 1871. Heinrich
Germany and never profited from his invention dying in poverty.
A. Gimmig invents a crude shock
first recorded use of a crude shock
absorber is the invention by one A. Gimmig
in 1897. He
attached rubber blocks to the top of each leaf
When the suspension
was compressed sufficiently, the rubber bumpers hit bolts
that were attached to
the frame. Rubber bump stops are
still used in many modern suspensions, but
their effect on
ride control is minimal.
J.M.M Truffault invents the 1st true
shock absorbers for racing bikes.
first true shock absorbers were fitted to a
racing bicycle in 1898 by a
Frenchman named J. M. M.
Truffault. The front fork was suspended on springs, and
incorporated a friction device that kept the bike from
In 1899, an American automobile
enthusiast named Edward V. Hartford saw one of
bikes win a marathon race at Versailles. Hartford immediately
recognized the automotive potential of the friction
Henry Ford and the leaf
Ford's 1908 Model T Ford featured
old-fashioned leaf springs with a novel twist
-- he used
only one spring at each axle, mounted transversely, instead of one at
each wheel. Ford's adaptation of high-strength vanadium
steel from a French
racing car allowed him to save weight
and cut costs in many areas of the Model T
compromising its durability.
George Hansburg Invents the Pogo
Hansburg patented the first pogo stick in
1919. George was a Illinois baby
furniture and toy
designer who was asked to improve a design that was being
shipped from Germany to the Gimble Brothers Department
store. The design was
made of wood and had rotted on the
journey over to America. Hansburg created an
enclosed-spring pogo stick, and manufactured them in Elmhurst, N.Y
factory. This is the pogo stick that children know and
love to this day.
Firestone Developed the 1st practical air
first practical air suspension was
developed by Firestone in 1933 for an
called the Stout-Scarab. This was a rear-engine vehicle that
used four rubberized bellows in place of conventional
springs. Air was supplied
by small compressors attached to
each bellow. As you might imagine, the air bag
was an expensive setup -- still is, in fact.
George Nissan Invents the
1935 while being intrigued by the trapeze
artists at the circus, George Nissan
concocted the idea
for the trampoline. George noticed that the trapeze artists
were able to propel themselves in the air and perform
stylish moves after
falling into safely into the netting.
George realized that inventing something
that would allow
gymnast to perform these same tricks over and over again would
be a new phenomenon.
Richard James invented the Slinky.
James was a naval engineer trying to
develop a meter designed to monitor
horsepower on naval
battleships. Richard was working with coil springs when one
of the springs fell to the ground. He saw how the spring
kept moving after
hitting the ground and an idea for a toy
Slinky debuted at
Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
during the 1945
Christmas season and then at the 1946
American Toy Fair. Richard was nervous at
demonstration of his toy and convinced a friend to attend and buy the
first Slinky. However, this turned out to be unnecessary
as 400 were sold during
the 90 minute Gimbel
Alfonso Jaramillo Jr. Invents the Handle Pole Spring.
While riding a Kawasaki Jet Ski for the first time, Alfonso notices the handle pole is to heavy and tiresome. He then goes into development creating the 1st handle pole spring for standup Jet Ski's, thus eliminating 80% of the handle poles weight. By 1985 it becomes the industry standard for all stand-up Jet Ski's.
Alfonso Jaramillo Jr. Receives Patent for Retractable Boarding
Alfonso Jaramillo Jr. was an avid Jet Skier that had experienced many falls into the water. Alfonso had many good inventions for personal watercraft, but it wasn't until 1990 that he came up with the idea of inventing the Retractable Jet Ski boarding step. His invention was an immediate success making it easy to board a jet ski from an in water position. In 1992 he was awarded patent # 5,152,244 for the Step. His invention saved lives and has become the stock equipment for Sea-Doos, Waverunners and Jet Skis. To date there has been over half a million boarding steps sold throughout the world and countless lives saved due to his remarkable invention.
Alvaro Z. Gallegos Invented the Spring
the early 80's Alvaro Z. Gallegos had been
a runner for many years and had
experienced many of the
typical aches and pains associated with running. He
realized that the source of his pain was coming from the
impact. With this new
enlightenment he decided to add a
spring to the heel of his shoe. Alvaro
many types of springs before finding the one that worked
flawlessly, a three-inch-wide conical steel coil. Over the
next few years many
prototypes were developed and finally
in 1995 Al patented his design and opened
the first Z-tech
store with his son in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Alfonso Jaramillo Jr. Invents the Driving Range Golf Ball
Alfonso Jaramillo Jr's love for golf and the driving range led him to invent the Power-Loader. It effectively retrieves your golf balls so you can tee-up instantly. The Power Loader picks up 3 golf balls at a time then allows you to place each one on the tee without wasting energy. The invention has saved golfers back's, no longer requiring them to bend down for every ball. This allows them to save their strength for long drives.