Heron of Alexandria and the Gin Pole

By William Gurstelle


Gregory Hayes (photo); Damien Scogin (diagrams)

CAUTION The amount of weight that your gin pole can handle will depend on the length and thickness of the pole, the capacity of the rope, the quality of your knots, and the holding power of the stakes. Take it easy to begin with as you learn the capability of your rig.


In antiquity, the only way to raise a heavy object was to put a rope on it, climb a ladder, and pull, or if you had enough time, build a ramp.

The ...

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