The first records of pulley use date back to Mesopotamia, where people used rope pulleys for hoisting water as early as 1500 B.C. Plutarch mentions that Archimedes developed the first documented pulley system in the third century B.C.
A pulley is a simple machine that uses a wheel with a groove to hold a cable or a rope. Pulleys are essential to numerous machines, ranging from cranes to airplanes. According to Hero of Alexandria, a Greek mathematician and engineer who lived in the first century A.D., pulleys were one of the six types of machines ancient people used for lifting weights.