The first design was made by Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel, with a few lines to show dust and motion. 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 the movement.
In 1923, the present geared wheel, with 24 cogs and six spokes, was adopted by the Rotary International Association. A group of engineers soon advised that the geared 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 the keyway was added and the design which we now know was formally adopted as the official Rotary International Emblem.