Cadillac brand Big Wheel model skateboard wheel

Description (Brief):

This is a "Big Wheel" model Cadillac skateboard wheel which is an unpigmented amber color introduced in late 1973, early 1974. "Cadillac Wheels [/] Big Wheel" is imprinted into the surface of the wheel which is 2.25 inches in diameter and 1.25 inches wide. This model was designed to accommodate skateboarders interested in high velocity, downhill speed type skating. The larger diameter a wheel has the faster the wheel will roll. A smaller diameter wheel requires more rotations to travel the same distance. There is a metal bearing race cone in the center of the wheel. This would receive the loose ball bearings and a screw for securing the wheel to the truck, holding the bearings in, allowing the wheel to spin freely.

Description (Brief)

Frank Nasworthy’s introduction of the urethane wheel to skateboarding in the early 1970s, changed the face of the sport allowing riders a more fluid, smooth ride and innovators to create new and improved equipment designed specifically from the use of the urethane wheel on skateboards. Prior to Cadillac wheel’s introduction, skateboarding had dropped from popularity. The equipment did not allow for a safe, enjoyable ride. The wheels, made of steel, plastic, clay or a crushed walnut composite did not provide a smooth ride. One small rock or rise in the road and the board would stop, sending the rider flying. Nasworthy, a recreational skater discovered the urethane wheel, originally used for roller skating, at a friend’s father’s factory in Purcellville, Virginia. He saw the potential for skateboarding and returned to California with 1000 wheels he bought from his friend’s dad. Selling them to skate and surf shops in California, Nasworthy soon realized the business potential and began manufacturing the wheels under the name Cadillac. While skateboarding ebbed again in the late 70s, the wheels were here to stay.

Date Made: 1973

Location: Currently not on view

Name Of Sport: skateboarding


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure, Sports & Leisure


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2021.0116.07.1Accession Number: 2021.0116Catalog Number: 2021.0116.07.1

Object Name: wheel, skateboardingskateboard wheel

Physical Description: urethane (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in; 3.175 cm x 5.715 cm


Record Id: nmah_2010161

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