The History of Barn Door RollersYesterday I was asked if I knew what the oldest tool ever made was. My mind immediately went to the wheel or the hammer. I guessed wheel as my top choice but the answer was ladder. The ladder is considered the most ancient, or most antique tool. It was explained to me that the ladder was first built by our ancestors for gathering fruits and nuts in high trees and in hard to reach places. These antique tools, such as the ladder, were designed for functional purposes. In fact, the next step in ladder development was adding wheels to the ladder allowing it to roll. In our modern day, there are some pretty fancy ladders performing many different functions. Rolling ladders are typically made with solid wood rails and steps and have antique barn door rollers attached to them. We here at Rustica like to think that barn door rollers on barn doors date back almost as far as the ladder, In fact, we are sure that a barn door rolling in front of a cave opening was very likely.
Barn Door Roller DesignsModern day antique barn door rollers have been modeled after the original sliding antique ladder wheel design. This design includes a three or four part spoking within the wheel. The early 18th century design dates back to a time when rolling wheels were made by hand and crafted using cast iron. American manufacturing of cast iron products has come to a screeching halt. There are very few cast iron shops still in existence in the USA. 95% of all cast iron wheels are made in China and India. These wheels are primarily used for barn door rollers, furniture rollers, rolling ladder wheels, and barn door pulleys.
Antique Spoked Wheel Options for Barn DoorsAt Rustica we have a fun collection of true antique rollers in our showroom on display. Due to the fact that we have hand picked these antique barn door rollers from antique road shows and even gotten some of them on trade, we don't sell original antique wheels for our standard barn door hardware kits. We have created some barn door roller replicas of antique barn door wheels that are precision made with the highest quality steel and can be powder coated for a baked on lifetime finish.
At the top of this post are some examples of our antique replica wheels as well as spoked wheels.
For a complete line of all of our barn door hardware rollers, including our rustic, modern, and antique barn door wheels click here.