Rotary’s Wheel Emblem

Rotary Wheel EmblemA wheel has been the symbol of Rotary since our earliest days. Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel, with a few lines to show dust and motion, made the first design. The wheel was said to illustrate “Civilization and Movement.” Most of the early clubs had some form of wagon wheel on their publications and letterheads. Finally in 1922, it was decided that all Rotary clubs should adopt a single design as the exclusive emblem of Rotarians. Thus, in 1923, “Rotary International Association” adopted the present gear wheel with 24 cogs and six spokes. A group of engineers advised that the gear wheel was mechanically unsound and would not work without a “keyway” in the center of the gear to attach it to a power shaft. So, in 1923 the keyway was added and the design, which we now know, was formally adopted as the official Rotary International emblem.

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