The ''baroulkos'' windlass

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The ''baroulkos'' windlass

Mechanism which consisted of co-operating endless screws and gearwheels inside a box used for the elevation or the drawing of large load with the application of only minimal manpower.

The mechanism is described in detail by Heron. It, however, was invented by Archimedes who, with the use of a similar mechanism (of more gearwheels and endless screws), launched a huge ship with one hand while extolling his strength with the phrase, "Give me a place to stand and I can move the Earth."

According to Heron, for the reduction of the drawing force of a load by 1/200, the gearwheel ratio required is 1:5:5:5:8/5 (theoretically capable of achieving this purpose). While greater force reduction, by means of endless screw and crank, is necessary for the overriding of increased friction.

SOURCES: "Heron of Alexandria, On dioptra"