Casters have been around for a long time, and they’re not going anywhere soon. Casters are used to move anything from beds to couches to tables to large toolboxes. Whenever a large object needs to be portable, adding casters is the best solution. So, where do they come from? Here is an overview in caster history.
Casters were first patented by David A. Fisher in 1876. During this time, casters were incredibly heavy and industrial. At the turn of the next century, so we’re talking some time later, most, if not all, casters were made of glass or leather to allow easier travel over wood flooring. You’ll notice that casters aren’t only made of glass and leather today. In fact, casters of the twenty-first century are made of a wide variety of materials ranging from iron all the way to plastic. Now that you know when casters were invented and how they have evolved, let’s take a closer look at some modern options.
Modern Casters – To put it lightly, casters have come a long way. Today, you can choose casters that have brakes or locks, are shock absorbent, are antibacterial, and are retractable! We are also finding that casters are being used for more and more applications. Think about it: Casters are found on shopping carts, office chairs, medical equipment, and heavy machinery. When you think of casters, your mind naturally goes to furniture, but in reality, casters are everywhere. Let’s continue to explore some of the common caster models.
Rigid Casters – If you’re thinking of furniture casters, this model may be the first to pop in your mind. Rigid casters are mounted to a stationary fork, so that they cannot swivel independently from the furniture or vehicle. The rear wheels on shopping carts are actually perfect examples of rigid casters.
Swivel Casters – Just the opposite of rigid casters are swivel casters. The wheel is actually mounted to the fork on an additional swivel joint to allow the wheel to rotate freely. This allows the wheel to change directions without moving the entire vehicle. A swivel caster promotes ease when moving or operating the vehicle.