'Maximum machine', c 1740.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. The machine was designed by J T Desaguliers in the early 1740s. It measured the maximum of a man's power to raise water. In the full-sized version, a bucket was filled from the well in the base while a man ran up the steps. The man then stood on the platform which descended, lifting the bucket. The bucket emptied itself by catching on a hook at the top, the man ran up the steps again while the bucket descended and refilled. This proces was repeated all day.