POTD: Braking Power

Braking Power
Death Valley, California

The brake pad bar on this wagon wheel is nearly as tall as I am. It had to be big because it’s a big wheel (7 feet in diameter) on a big wagon, part of one of the famous 20-mule team wagon rigs that hauled borax out of Death Valley back in the day. The complete rig consisted of two wagons carrying 10 tons of borax plus the tank wagon which held 12,000 gallons of water used to water the mules on 165 mile trip across the Mojave Desert. The entire setup, when fully loaded weighed 33 tons.

2 thoughts on “POTD: Braking Power”

  1. I doubt I’ll live long enough to forget the Twenty Mule Team Borax commercials from when I was a kid. I never knew what that meant, but at least I’ve lived long enough to find out. Amazing what they did to get the borax out of there!

    1. Funny you just figured that out–especially after seeing the commercials. I think there was an image of a full team pulling these kinds of wagons on the box wasn’t there? Whatever, never to old to learn something new (hopefully)!

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