from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. a system of transmitting power over considerable distances by means of endless wire ropes over pulleys, originating with C. F. Hirn in Germany. The basal idea was to run light wire cables at a linear velocity so great that the strain in pounds should be light. Speeds of 100 to 130 feet per second have been used. When the distance between sheaves is over 1,000 feet intermediate or supporting sheaves are introduced at about 400 feet intervals. In very long transmissions, to diminish cable weight and lateral pull on the bearings, a relay pair of transmitting sheaves is introduced. Two pulleys side by side and forming one on a common axis receive one cable from one direction and send the power forward by a second.
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