The first pulley can be traced back to Mesopotamia in 1500 B.C., when people used pulleys to hoist water. The first compound pulleys were invented by the Archimedes of Syracuse between 287 B.C. and 212 B.C., which were able to move warships filled with men and be operated by one man.
A pulley is a wheel with two raised edges so a rope can stay on the wheel without coming off as it is rolled. Sometimes a pulley is referred to as a block and tackle. A pulley can be used in many different ways, but one of its most common functions is to make it easier for one person to lift a heavy item.