A History of Springs

Springs helping make the world go round

Bows and Arrows. If you include non-coiled springs, springs have been around forever. A great example of a non-coiled spring is a bow and arrow which as we know, were used to help with food and protection from 64,000 years ago - one of the earliest spring technologies. 

Egyptian Chariots. 3,600 year-old chariots depict pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, and a convex-shaped rear mirror, leading to the comparison of design to the engineering standards of the 1930s era Buicks!  Obviously well ahead of their time. Wonder whether Ben-Hur’s chariot was as comfortable?

Pistols and Locks. In 1493, Leonardo Da Vinci built the first spring into a pistol, customised just for the pistol. It made it possible for the pistol to be shot off in a single hand. This spring was the beginning of revolutionising the gun and guns today use all sorts of spring technology to make them work efficiently. Coil springs were also used in locks in the 15thcentury.

Leaf Springs. In the 18th century, the French put on a plate onto a carriage suspension. This metal plate is considered a leaf spring and was the first ever leaf spring used on a vehicle. Undoubtedly useful considering the state of the roads at that time!

The First Coiled Spring. It wasn’t until 1763 when R. Tradwell invented the first ever coiled spring. It was a British patent, number 792 and considered a big step up from the leaf spring which had to be lubricated often and was quite squeaky. One up for the British!

Steel Coil Spring. The word coil meant to wind cylindrically or spirally. In the year 1857 the first ever steel coil spring was invented. It was used for chair seats. Late entry, but still very useful, from the USA.

Shock Absorber. The first modern shock absorber was fitted to a racing bike by J M M Truffault in 1898. The French fight back!

Springs Help Made The Modern World. Ever since the inventions of coil springs, springs have been used in everything from shoes to trampolines and help make the car industry what it is today. Springs are used in every type of device and machinery and they really do help make the world go around.