Who Invented the Pulley? A pulley is a grooved wheel along its edge to hold a rope or cable. It is a simple machine that helps change the direction and point of application of a pulling force.
Pulleys are often used to decrease the amount of force required to lift a load. The magnitude of the force is reduced, but it must act over a greater distance. Therefore, the amount of work required for the load to reach a specific height is the same as without using the pulleys.
We can find pulleys in different situations around us. Not only are they used for lifting objects, as is the case with cranes, but they are also used in modern automobiles and aircraft. Pulleys are also essential for most machines, in one way or another.
It is not known who invented the pulley. As with all simple machines, the origin of the pulley is unknown. When primitive peoples lifted heavy objects by throwing lianas or other coarse ropes above tree branches, they were using the concept of a single fixed pulley to change the direction of a force. But since there was no turning wheel, its use produced considerable friction. It is believed that around 1500 a. C. Mesopotamia inhabitants used rope pulleys to lift water.
There are no records of when or who first developed the pulley. However, Archimedes is thought to have developed the first pulley rig, according to Plutarch, who recorded that Archimedes moved an entire man-laden warship using composite pulleys and his own strength.
Uses of Pulleys
Pulleys have been used for thousands of years to lift loads. The most prominent and oldest example is its use on ships and boats. It has been a key tool for hoisting sails and cargo. Another important use of pulleys is cranes.
Pulleys have also been used in modern times with various machines and systems. Even in the space age, pulleys have been an important aspect of the construction and handling of spacecraft and aircraft. For example, aircraft rudders are controlled with a pulley system.
Pulleys are used in everyday life, from vehicles to equipment to move loads, as is the case with cranes.