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Compound levers, c 1750.

Compound levers, c 1750.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm


This device in the foreground was made by George Adams, instrument maker to the king. A lever, one of the 'simple machines' known since antiquity, enables a heavier load to be lifted using a lighter one. This machine uses a series of three levers so that the weight to be lifted can be sixty times greater than the 'power' required to lift it. The rear instrument is another example of a compound lever, which belonged to Dr Stephen Demainbray (1710-1782), a scientific lecturer of the 18th century.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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