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“The capstan, in universal use, on board of ships, is an axle placed upright, with a head, or drum, A, pierced with holes for the levers B, C, D. The weight is drawn by the rope E, passing two or three times round the axle to prevent its slipping. This is a very powerful and convenient machine. When not in use, the levers are taken out of their places and laid aside, and when great force is required two or three men can push at each lever.” —Comstock, 1850


J. L. Comstock A System of Natural Philosophy: Principles of Mechanics (: Pratt, Woodford, and Company, 1850) 79


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