Archimedes' Claw
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Illustrations and Animations
Scale Models

An animated image built from three illustrations of a claw from the following book:

Ancient Inventions by Peter James and Nick Thorpe, Ballantine Books, New York, 1994.

Enlarged Animations (480 x 294 pixels, black & white, 9 frames, 8 seconds):
  Animated GIF, 137 kilobytes
  QuickTime Movie, 147 kilobytes

An illustration from the following book:

Engineering in the Ancient World by J. G. Landels, University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1978.

Enlarged images:
  Medium size: 31 kilobytes, 640 x 480 pixels, 256 grayscales.
  Large size: 31 kilobytes, 2040 x 1530 pixels, black & white.

(A carchesion is a kind of swivel or universal joint.)

An animation depicting the claw as a trebuchet. Created by Duncan Ellis, an architect associated with Carpenter Oak & Woodland Co. Ltd. of Chippenham UK -- specialists in oak-framed construction, conservation and timber engineering.

Enlarged Animations (699 x 557 pixels, black & white, 39 frames, 19 seconds):
  Animated GIF, 150 kilobytes
  QuickTime Movie, 192 kilobytes

An illustration of a rather elaborate claw from the following book:

Archimedes: The Ingenious Engineer by Christos D. Lazos, Aiolos Publishers, Athens, 1995 (in Greek).

Enlarged images:
  Medium size: 104 kilobytes, 616 x 480 pixels.
  Large size: 284 kilobytes, 1398 x 1089 pixels.

Detail of an engraving depicting the siege of Syracuse. Notice the use of counterweights in the three levers depicted.

Enlarged image: 121 kilobytes, 640 x 405 pixels, 256 grayscales.

An illustration from the following book:

A Picturesque Tale of Progress by Olive Beaupre Miller, The Book House for Children, 1935, (Illustration by Donn P. Crane).

Enlarged images:
  Medium size: 137 kilobytes, 640 x 395 pixels.
  Large size: 258 kilobytes, 1483 x 916 pixels.

A very imaginative version of the claw as an underwater "ship shaker". The artist admits that it is pure speculation.

Source: A History of the Machine by Sigvard Strandh, A&W Publishers, Inc., New York, 1979.

Enlarged image: 99 kilobytes, 640 x 402 pixels.

A depiction that takes the nomenclature "iron hand" in the ancient sources quite literally. It is a detail of a wall painting in the Stanzino delle Matematiche in the Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy). Painted by Giulio Parigi (1571-1635) in the years 1599-1600.

Enlarged image: 265 kilobytes, 1647 x 1325 pixels.