The First Pulley
The first block and tackle pulley was designed by a Greek mathematician and inventor over 2,000 years ago. The mathematician’s name was Archimedes. Archimedes lived in Sicily, an island that is part of present-day Italy. He invented many tools for use in work, war, and everyday life. Perhaps none was so useful to the sailors and fishermen of the Mediterranean Sea as the block and tackle.
A block is a set of wheels joined by one axle. One fixed block and one movable block are tackled, or joined together by rope. Used together, the blocks can lift whole boats in and out of the water. They can also raise and lower a ship’s sails.