Meaning of the word "Gear"

I was wondering where the word "gear" comes from - as in "camera gear." I guessed (incorrectly) that the first use of gear was to mean a mechanism, as in a car transmission, and the more recent,  casual use meaning "stuff you bring with you" or "equipment" was a later use, as we see in magazine "camping gear guides" or "running gear guides."

Well, I Googled it and it turns out that the use meaning equipment or apparatus came first, and the use meaning mechanism followed. Here's the result of a quick Google search: 

Gear: Origin

Middle English: of Scandinavian origin; compare with Old Norse gervi . Early senses expressed the general meaning ‘equipment or apparatus,’ later ‘mechanism’.

Jeff LukeComment