Saturday, April 5

Re-found: Buggy kit

While hunting for rocks for the Great Wall, we rediscovered the metallic remains of an old buggy. It had apparently been parked among the rocks and abandoned long ago. In the meantime, a wildfire took all of the wooden parts away, or maybe termites did. Not a scrap of wood remains, and only three of the tires (tyres). Years ago I had taken one of the tires for use as a firewood holding ring. It’s around here somewhere.

Did you know that not just rubber is used for tires? A tire is simply a band that strengthens and protects the wheel from wear. The term, tire, comes from the fact that it “ties” the wheel together. When iron is used for a tire, it’s heated right before being placed onto the wooden rim, then quenched. It shrinks and presses the rim and spokes against the hub, strengthening the whole assembly. Rubber tires don’t have the same effect of holding a wheel together, especially when used on a metal wheel without individual spokes. But they’re still called tires.

The two wagon axles we unearthed a few weeks ago (see Archaeology can make you sad) could belong to this wagon. Reconstructing the wagon would be a real challenge, since we have no idea what it used to look like.

It would be really neat if we were to find the remains of an old Brinks money wagon. I could imagine the bandits hijacking the wagon, driving it onto our place, then hearing the sheriff’s posse closing in, grabbing only the paper money because it’s light and leaving all the gold behind. Then a sudden meteor shower mows down all the bandits and the posse, starts a wildfire and the loot is lost forever till we discover it. Hm-m. I think I’ll go back over and nose around those old wagon parts.

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