Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 4, Issue 2
April 2009
Interesting Reads
  Excerpt from American Agriculturalist, Volume 35, 1876.

An Improvement in Wheelbarrows

The wheelbarrow, it is said, was invented by the noted Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci. That it was the production of so capable a man is possibly the reason that it has remained for centuries unaltered, and considered so far incapable of improvement. But nowadays our wants are so many, or our wishes are so exacting, that for some uses the present wheelbarrow is not satisfactory.

In the garden the wheelbarrow is very useful, even in its ordinary construction, but in the shape in which it is presented in the accompanying illustration, it will be still more useful. The additions and improvements here described are the result of the ingenuity of Mr. E.D. Beach, of Hartford, Conn., to whom we are indebted for a photograph from which we make the engraving. They are as follows: a rubber wheel-tire by which more quiet and easy rolling is secured; two springs fitted to the axle, which prevent jolting; a wheel-lifter, or a second pair of longer legs, by which it may be lifted over obstructions, by pushing forward the leg frame and bearing down upon the handles; a movable water-pail hook; drawers for seed, etc.; a seat with a socket for an umbrella or sunshade, to be used while resting; four buckled-strap loops for holding tools; four partitions for various uses; two sliding-doors for quickly emptying it of its contents; four baskets fitting into the partitions, and, lastly, a movable cover made to fasten by a latch or catch. Each and all of these may be removed at will, except the rubber tire.

Some of these appliances will be found useful for any wheelbarrow, and others are intended for special work in the garden and orchard, where one wishes to have all the tools he is likely to need at hand in a convenient manner. It is really converting a wheelbarrow into a portable tool-house.
Mr. Beach writes us that he has spent three years in perfecting his wheelbarrow, but he will be sufficiently repaid for his thought and labor by freely conferring the invention, with whatever of value or usefulness it may possess, upon the public; this he does through the columns of the American Agriculturalist, without any other compensation than results from doing whatever good he may. The additions are therefore free to everybody to adopt.

  Mr. Beach's wheelbarrow
Mr. Beach's wheelbarrow
  Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1876. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.  
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