The following article discusses the elements and uses of adjustable castors, widely used yet rarely mentioned. Found supporting an item of furniture such as a washing machine or settee, a castor provides an easy solution when moving certain pieces. A device not given much thought has become an imperative asset within daily life.
Able to fully rotate the castor permits objects to move easily and turn as required. Wheel axles and bearing races can be altered depending on the use the castor must fulfil and can also be found with rigid housing meaning movement in a single direction, forwards or backwards.
Castors were used as early as the 1500’s on items such as wheel chairs and ‘baby cages’! A ‘baby cage’ was a genuine item used by mothers to keep their children in so they could continue with house hold chores and not have to worry about them escaping or hurting themselves. Castors were installed on the bottom of the cages for easy transportation in and out of rooms. Whilst controversial today, the ‘baby cage’ was an earlier model of the ‘play pen’ many parents utilise in this day and age.
In 1730, castors were made from leather, which was kind to wooden floorings in the home. Leather moved on to brass eventually. Prior to this date hardwood was preferred and as castors were in their early stages of development it took many years to arrive at a perfect material.
Castors have a dominant place within the home and in many a work place. Nylon, rubber, aluminium, cast iron, pneumatic tyred, stainless steel and plastic are just a small portion of the materials available for a successful castor. When choosing it is good to decide using the principle stating that if the wheel diameter is bigger then less resistance the castor needs and this depends on how the castor is required to move.
Lets take a shopping trolley as an example of outdoor use of castors. Without a trolley shopping would be hard work. The castors are fixed in order for the device to move straight ahead, backwards and around corners smoothly providing a solution to thousands of people every day.
Another example shows castors in hospitals. Without these moving patients to the correct wards would prove difficult. Whilst another solution surely would have been invented it goes to show that such a simple item has grown so prominent in every day life. Scaffolders also rely on castors as do refuse collectors when rounding up wheely bins.
Fixing kits are available when buying castors to be added to furniture. A kit consists of nuts, bolts and washers and are available in certain sizes to suit the needs of the item to which a castor will be attached. If the right kit is not used then there is a chance the castor could come loose.
An item which has travelled through time and become prominent has embedded itself into everyone’s lives without realisation yet is something which without we could have very easily been worse off.