Patent Cast Iron Octagon Box Nave - an advertisement from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:1790 - 1830 (c.)

Description:Rough and potholed roads posed serious problems in this period, when a broken wheel could mean damaged cargo or long delays to a journey.

Tomorrow's World

Just imagine - to talk excitedly about a 'patent cast iron octagon box nave' today seems painfully odd.

By contrast, in those days it promised to prove itself as a crucial new innovation.

The oak spokes of a cart wheel were normally set into a hub (or 'nave') that was made of elm.

A wheel was usually 100% hand-crafted by the local wheelwright using wood that had been 'seasoned' over a series of years.

Cast-iron credentials

Now, a cast iron nave could deliver extra strength and durability on the truly challenging highways of 200 years ago.

The makers vouched for the credentials of their invention:

"HAS stood the Test of Experiment, and finally proved to be much more secure and possess less friction than any Box Wheels yet discovered. Is peculiarly adapted for the wheels of every Carriage, and especially those much exposed to the Weather, either in the East or West Indies, or America, and it is impossible for these wheels to shake to pieces as the wooden Nave Wheels now in Use.

"Whenever these Wheels want Repair, any of the Spokes may be immediately withdrawn, and others as readily replaced; one Set of these Box Naves will last many Years, and the very great Expence (sic.) saved in the continual Repair, attendant on the Wooden Nave Wheels of all Waggons and Carts now in General Use."

In other words, don't delay - buy today!

About this document

Burslem pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood collected this document, and it is now among the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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