Ancient Methods of Drawing Water

1891 Scientific American  
We have already described some of the ancient methods of raising water, but these were confined to the elevation of water from streams or natural bodies of water lying on the surface. For elevating water from wells and cisterns, different mechanism was re .quired. One of the ancient machines for this kind of work is represented in Fig. 1 . In this machine a long beam weighted at one end is pivoted in a forked post and arranged to oscillate on its pivot. To the lighter end of the beam is
more » ... the beam is connected a rod which is attached at its lower end to a bucket, and the weight of the heavier end of the beam is more than sufficient to lift a bucket full of water. Upon the beam is placed a plank, and at the sides of the plank are arranged hand rails. The operator walks forward and back ward upon the beam, thus alternately adding his weight to the lighter end of tLe beam and removing it therefrom, causing the bucket to alternately dip into the water and lift it to the surface, where it is emptied by another person. In some cases these machines are provided with steps to give a better foothold. It is said that the operator upon these machine.. becomes so expert that the water never ceases running in the troughs leading from the well, and still his confidence is such, notwithstanding his apparently dan gerous position, that he laughs, sings, smokes, and eats in this peculiar situation. This ma chine is peculiar to Hindostan, and is known as the picotah. The earlier machines for raising water by power were known by such names as the tym panum, noria, chain of pots. Of these the tympanum and noria were driven by the stream from which the water was taken. The earlier form of tympanum consisted simply of a series of gutters united at their open ends to a horizontal hollow shaft placed a little higher than the discharge sluice, the gutters being ar ranged rad ially, and of sufficient length to extend from the shaft into the water. The sides were closed in by planking and the joints were J ,ienUfi, �lUtti,au. Firing Porcelain.
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican05161891-311 fatcat:5lvuchaxt5dddnbe6rrq5ekoxi