The inventor of the lever is unknown, as it has most likely been in use since prehistoric times. Greek mathematician Archimedes was the first to describe levers in approximately 260 B.C.
Having discovered the reasoning behind why levers worked, Archimedes once famously stated, "Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth." Using the principle of leverage, he invented block and tackle pulley systems, which allowed sailors to lift heavy objects that were too heavy to be lifted in any other manner.
Levers are employed in some of the most basic instruments used in modern times, including nutcrackers, tongs, scissors, pliers and hammer claws.