Who Invented the Wheelbarrow? Learn the Real Story!

​For anyone who has done any work outside, you will understand how important the wheelbarrow is in making your job easier. So, who invted the wheelbarrow? What events led to such an amazing piece of ingenuity? That is the question that we will be answering today. Let's take a deeper look into the wheelbarrow. 

How is a Wheelbarrow Made?

The wheelbarrow is the type of device that is simple and complex at the same time. Mechanically speaking, it is composed of three simple machines: inclined plane, lever, and the wheel and axle. It has hand grips, two handles, a leg brace, leg support, axle, tire, front base, and tray.

​What is a Wheelbarrow



The wheelbaroow is a device that has one wheel is designed to only be pushed by one person. It has two handles at the rear of the device that allows you to grab and push the wheelbarrow. If you look at the word, you can see that it is composed of the words "wheel" and "barrow".

Barrow has roots that lead us to the old English word "bearwe" which is a word that was used to refer to a device that carried loads.

​Ancient Roots

When looking at a device such as the wheelbarrow, you may be wondering how long it has been around. Well, the wheelbarrow dates back to China during the 2nd century Han dynasty.

Over the years, the design of the wheelbarrow changed, but the overall purpose of it remained unscaved. For example, during the medieval days, wheelbarrows bore up to 6 different designs, but they all resulted in the carrying and transportation of materials or men.

​Who Invented the Wheelbarrow

​As seen by its ancient roots, it is ​recorded that the wheelbarrow was created by the prime minister during the Han Dynasty, Zhuge Liang in 231 A.D.

At the time, Liang liked to refer to the device as the “wooden ox”. The device had the handles facing forward so that you could pull it and its purpose was to carry men and weapons into battle.

Some other records show that the wheelbarrow could have been invented as early as 118 A.D. as well.

​Eastern & Western Wheelbarrow Differences

Different Wheelbarrow

Different Wheelbarrow

Thinking back to the original wheelbarrow, you can imagine how radically different the device has changed over the years. The biggest changes, though, is located in the wheel’s placement. Older iterations of the wheelbarrow had the wheel in the center of the wheelbarrow. The frame was then built around it.

It is likely that the design was made this way to distribute the weight more evenly throughout the cart. This meant less work could be applied to carry more weight. These types of wheelbarrows could even move men and here at Greencollab we aim to cover the most up to date wheelbarrow reviews.

Today’s wheelbarrows located in the west are not as easy to use as eastern versions. The wheel is at the end of the wheelbarrow. Even so, the design is not inferior. It makes shorter trips much easier to accomplish and unloading and loading the wheelbarrow is also easier when compared to its eastern counterpart.


In conclusion, the wheelbarrow was invented by the 2nd century Han Dynasty prime minister Zhuge Liang. Its roots date back all the way to 231 A.D. Its design has not changed much over the years, but there are radically differences between the eastern and western iterations of the device. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, however. Choosing which one is better would be difficult. Check out how many wheelbarrows in a yard