Water Pumps - Swing Beam

This Collegium is devoted to discussion, research and the contribution to the Roman Republic of Articles, pictures, drawings, military reenactment, questions, comments and all other material relating to the purpose of the Militarium (Ancient Roman Military). Collegium Website: http://militarium.romanrepublic.org/ | Join at: http://romanrepublic.org/civitas/joint_ ... itarium/41

Moderators: Publius Iunius Brutus, Lucius Aurelius Curio, Marca Marcia, Gaius Flavius Aetius, Paullus Aemilius Gallus, Aula Flavia Philippa

Water Pumps - Swing Beam

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:23 pm

>>>> Water Pumps - Swing Beam <<<<

In the ancient world, one of the most important activties was the transfer of water from a source such as a river or a stream, to an irrigation ditich for the irrigation of crops. The most basic of these devices for transferring water from a source to irrigaton was the Swing-Beam. This very basic machine was used all along rivers, streams, and over wells for this purpose. It could be seen along the Nile River in use from pre-classical times to as short a time as just a few years ago. It has been illustrated on Greek pottery in the sixth century BC. Other names for this machine are the Swipe, or in Arabic a “shadouf”. In Greek it was called a “keloneion”, and in Latin either a “circonia” (“stork’ for its resemblance to that bird) or “tolleno” (‘lifter’).

The machine consists of a tree with a jutting brnch, as in the drawing, or a tree branch with a fork in the end, driven securely into the ground about 8-10 ft. (3m) away from the well head or other source (such as the river in the drawing). This acts as a pivot for the beam, one end of which is located directly above the water source, and has a bucket on the end of the pole. Towards the other end is a counter weight, commonly, a large stone, which is shifted along the beam until it just outweighes the weight of the bucket of water. A long rope about 8 ft. long is fastened to the far end of the beam. When the bucket is filled, the rope is pulled down, the weight lifts the bucket of water to be emptied in the irrigation ditch. This machine was clearly so familiar o the early Greeks and Romans that it was not considered worth mentioning by the early writers about machinery.

Respectfully Submitted;

Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

Return to Collegium Militarium