South Pointing Chariot

     Invented in China between the first and third centuries, A.D., the South Pointing Chariot is one of the most complex mechanisms of the ancient world.

     Due to the action of Differential Gearing, the figure on top always points in the same direction regardless of which way the chariot is pulled, pushed or turned.

The Chinese used the chariot in ceremonial processions with the figure pointing South, hence the name South Pointing Chariot.

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Star Wars fans will recognize this figure as being from a galaxy far, far away, a long, long time ago!

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The gears are made from 1/8 " dia. dowels with 12 teeth on a 1 " Bolt circle.

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The original full size Chariot and the model you see here both required great precision to construct. The Chinese were not only clever enough to invent the concept of differential gearing but they had the craftsmanship to fabricate accurate gears using primitive hand tools.

Please visit "The Center for South Pointing Chariot Research and Development"