The evolution of hoists, from Archimedes to GH

At GH we have been building our own hoists for more than 60 years, but humanity has been doing it for more than two millennia. Have you ever stopped to think who was the first person to use one? Although it is not known for sure, the most plausible answer is that it was the Greek inventor, engineer and mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse.

Very little is known about this Greek scholar who lived in Syracuse between 287 and 212 B.C. Despite being one of the most influential people of the Ancient Age, his life is a mystery, with few reliable sources of information.

One of them, Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” (in the year 100 B.C.), tells the story of how, in a letter to King Hiero of Syracuse, Archimedes made the following claim: “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world.”

The king asked Archimedes for a demonstration, and together they agreed that he should move a large ship belonging to the royal navy that had run aground in the sand and that was proving impossible to bring to dry dock despite the efforts of many men.

According to Plutarch’s account, after loading the ship with numerous passengers and with the holds full, Archimedes placed himself a certain distance away and, pulling on a rope, raised the ship out of the water in a stable manner and without much effort.

Archimedes was able to carry out the demonstration thanks to a hoist system that he himself had devised. Since then, Archimedes’ invention has helped humanity move forward much faster. More than 2,000 years later, it still does.

GH Hoists

At GH we are leaders in the manufacture of hoists that meet the needs of our customers. For more than 60 years we have continuously evolved, adapting to new technologies in a flexible way and with a constant desire to improve. In this video we have summarised the most important milestones in our progress:

  • 1960: Motor inside the drum with independent geared motor to obtain reduced speed via the clutch.
  • 1980: NF double girder trolley with external motor.
  • 1990: Coaxial hoist with direct drive.
  • 2000: Generation of single girder hoists with low headroom.
  • 2005: Incorporation of variable frequency drives in the trolley and bridge travel
  • 2009: Incorporation of the ALE100T black box. 
  • 2013: New “C-shaped” design to optimise sizing.
  • 2013: Progressive incorporation of variable frequency drives for lifting in the New Generation hoists.
  • 2020: We develop a remote service system for all our Corebox cranes.

Since our beginnings, GH hoists have been designed adopting safety, reliability, durability and easy maintenance as key principles, aiming for maximum efficiency and productivity for our customers.