In 10 BC, Witt Lou Weiss, an architect in ancient Rome, described a crane in his building manuals. This machine has a mast, the top of which is equipped with pulleys, the position of the mast is fixed by the cable, and the winch is used to pull the cable through the pulley so as to lift heavy objects. Some overweight machines can use two mast to form a herringbone to move the lifting objects horizontally, but the amplitude is very small and the operation is very laborious.
In fifteenth Century, the rotary arm crane was invented in Italy to solve this problem. The crane has a tilted cantilever, and the top of the arm is equipped with pulleys, which can be lifted and rotated. But until the eighteenth Century, all kinds of hoisting machinery used by mankind were also powered by human or animal power, and were limited in weight, scope and efficiency.
In the late eighteenth Century, after the improvement and invention of steam engine in England, Watt provided power conditions for lifting machinery. In 1805, grand engineer Lenny built the first batch of steam cranes for the London dockyard. In 1846, Armstrong of England changed the steam crane from a new dock to a hydraulic crane.