Machines make work easier by multiplying the force a human can exert and allowing automation of production. Simple machines, such as the lever and pulley, grant humans the ability to move objects too heavy for manual manipulation. Automation means that a single person can oversee the work of numerous machines.
Simple machines are among the oldest human inventions. Many date back to the ancient Greeks of the early 2nd century B.C. Among the most significant machines is the wheel and axle combination. Its development led to improvements in efficiency and range of transportation. Modern industrialization is built on combining different mechanical advantages to create exponential increases in force.