The Archimedes Screw

Homesteading Hack #1 —Simple Homesteading Solutions That Have Been Around for Centuries…and Still Work

The Archimedes Screw

Archimedes, somewhere between 287 BC and 212 BC, began to apply mathematics to physics, and that changed the world forever. Indeed, we would not have had levers, pumps or pulleys so early in our world history had the Greek inventor not, well, invented.

One of his most famous inventions changed agriculture forever, and is still in use today. The Archimedes screw is turned by manual labor or windmill, and as it turns, it scoops up water from low-lying areas and pushes it up the tube by continuing to rotate. Eventually, it pours out of the top of the tube, and was used to build the first effective farming irrigation systems.

Archimedes actually took it one step further, too. He reversed the process, poured water in the top of the screw, and magically watched the screws begin to turn automatically. A couple millenniums later, that same technology would be used to drive our modern hydro-electric generators.

Archimedes Screw

Got good ideas you know work around the home? Share your homesteading hacks with editor Ryan Slabaugh at rslabaugh@countrysidemag.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *