Did you know some fun facts about pulleys and gears?
24 Jun, 2021

Have you ever realized the simplicity of the world of science we live in? Well, while we take a closer look we might find several evidences of simple machines like pulleys and gears. The things we use in our everyday life, right from a simple can opener to huge washing machines, all of these consist of pulleys and gears. Pulleys come with several advantages right from moving the blinds in your classroom to the conveyor belts in a grocery store.

Fun Facts about Pulleys and Gears

Before long, let us know some facts about pulleys and gears.

Origin of Name

Do you know from where the name “Block and Tackle” come from? Well, it was a term having several use in sailing. The sailors referred to the ships’ pulleys as blocks. On the other hand, the sailors used the term tackle to refer to the rope attaching to the pulleys, with the help of which they lifted the heavier objects. The sailors used “Blocks and Tackles” for the mechanical advantage offered by the simple machine while changing the angle of heavy sails. The mechanical advantage helps the sailors in using the changing winds and helps in steering the boat.

Creation of Mechanical Advantage (MA)

According to some researches, the famous Greek scientist, Archimedes was the first in combining pulleys and creating mechanical advantage, which was enough to pull a ship to the land with hands. He created what we know today as the “Claw of Archimedes”, which consisted of a pulley system with a claw at one end of the rope. The mechanisms helped in picking up Roman warships from the sea and then dropped them to destroy.

Trolley versus Pulley

The zip line trolley is a device consisting of two or more pulleys, which you can attach on a zip line cable. It is responsible for carrying a rider from one end of the zip line to the other.

Types of Pulleys

There are three types of pulleys – fixed pulleys, moveable pulleys, and compound pulleys. In a fixed pulley, the wheel and axle of a pulley stay at a fixed position. Attached to a supporting structure, the pulley has a shaft mounted on the bearings. A movable pulley consists of an axle in a moveable block. The two parts of the same cable support a single movable pulley, which makes it easier to lift heavier loads with the mechanical advantage of two. The compound pulley is a combination of movable and fixed pulley forming block and tackle.

Largest Gear

Today, most of the companies are deciding to increase the production by challenging the size of their equipment. In 2013 Hoffman Engineering, one of the copper grinding plant in China manufactured one of the largest gears. The gear approximately measured 13.2 meters in diameter and weighed 73.5 tons, which is about 50 times larger in diameter than a bicycle gear.

The Roller Coasters

Most of us rode roller coasters in our childhood. However, did you wonder how do a roller coaster like those you find at Canada’s Wonderland reaches uphill? Yes, the gears and pulleys help us once again. Most of the roller coasters use motorized chain drives, which consists of a looped chain and gears on each end to pull the cars to the top.

Natural Gears

Issus, a type of plant-hopper insect evolved to have gears in its hind legs, which allows the legs to function together in synchronized motion when the insect jumps. The gears are present only when the insects are nymphs. As soon as the nymphs grows into adult, the gears disappear.

Not All Gears are Circular

When we talk of gears, a circular shape comes to our mind. However, not all gears are circular-shaped, and some are cone and square-shaped as well. The cone-shaped gears found their uses for bevel gears, which sit on the ends of two different steel shafts intersecting one another. The drives use bevel gears allowing axels to spin at different speeds. Printing presses and locomotives use bevel gears. On the other hand, square gears used in machines require oscillation variation or axle displacement.


If you want to invest in the best pulleys and gears, purchasing from Shree Shakti Pulleys is the best choice. With a combination of high functionality and slim designs, their pulleys are efficient for use in heavy machinery.

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