France | Brittany

The wheelwright

This may well be one of the world’s oldest professions, since it goes back to the invention of the wheel! The wheelwright was more or less the village expert for all rolling wooden objects. His trade included making carts, wagons, wheelbarrows and other similar objects. The wheelwright would employ various woods, like oak, which was prized for its strength. To make a cart, the wheelwright would generally cut a single tree into a longeron — a long beam measuring several metres that served as the vehicle’s basis.

[peinture #00882]
The wheelwright
Inserting spokes into the wheel hub. A hub is illustrated in the upper left.
France, Brittany, Ille-et-Vilaine, Saint-Melaine
Sketch, grease pencil, sketchbook page (disbound)
Credit: Frédéric Back
More Info