Wheelbarrows, wagons, bicycles, garage doors and more all owe their success and efficiency to Philip Vaughan. From here on out I will use PV for his name because, quite frankly, it’s a weird spelling and I cannot get my fingers to type it correctly.
PV is not a well known inventor. I’d say he falls into the, we’re super glad he invented it and we owe so much to him but we’ll just enjoy the benefit and give nary a thought. Press the gas pedal on your car and it moves forward assuming you’re in drive. Close the lap bar on the Comet at the Great Escape and you’re off on a wild curvy ride that’s smooth as silk. Ever take the train to Florida instead of your car or a plane? That smooth rolling sleeper car you took such a good nap in also must pay homage to PV.
He invented the modern ball bearing design. PV was a Welsh ironmaster who need a solution and the early version of the ball bearing was called a ball race whereas the steel balls ran along a track in an axle assembly.
Ball bearings play an enormous role in our day to day life. Garage Doors would probably not exist. On a standard garage door there are approximately 16 and that doesn’t include those that would be on an electric garage door opener. 16! You’ll find them in the rollers, pulleys, torsion bars, in some cases the locking hardware.
Ball bearings are the unsung hero of our daily activities. Speaking of unsung, have you ever heard a bearing when it goes bad or is left un-lubricated? Oh it sings then and you’ll know cause you’ll hear it for sure.
So the next time you lift your garage door think of Mr. Philip Vaughan (PV for short) and pay a small tribute to his accomplishment.
Overhead Door of Albany