The tripod crane (6th c. B.C.)
The first vertical elevation crane worldwide

It consisted of three inclined beams that shaped a tripod. The load was suspended via block and tackles at the top of the machine and was lifted with the help of a horizontal rotating axle (reel). The axle was supported in bearings (tortoise-like cases) on the two front beams and was turned with the help of hand levers. For the reduction of friction, the axle had two small metal shafts at both sides rotated to specific receptors within the tortoise.



SOURCES: Vitruvius, On Architecture, Pappus of Alexandria, Mechanics, Heron of Alexandria, Mechanics.