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Wrecking Ball illusion

From Ancient Rams to Steam Power

From ancient times to the steam era, wrecking balls have a rich history. In ancient civilizations, massive stones were swung to demolish structures. Ancient Rome utilized battering rams to breach walls, while medieval Europe employed similar tactics in siege warfare. Fast forward to the 19th century, steam-powered cranes equipped with wrecking balls revolutionized demolition, making it more efficient, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. 

 

Power of the Swing

With each swing, the wrecking ball unleashes its power, forged from steel and weighing anywhere from a few hundred pounds to a hefty 6 tons, suspended from a towering crane. Its trajectory is a dance of physics, choreographed by gravity, momentum, and the length of its chain or cable. Unlike its spherical ancestors, modern wrecking balls boast a pear-shaped design, featuring a flat top that facilitates their passage through roofs or slabs with greater ease.

 

Yet, despite their formidable force, wrecking balls have waned in popularity with the advent of hydraulic excavators and other machinery that can systematically dismantle buildings with precision. When time is of the essence, explosives have emerged as the go-to choice for swiftly toppling modern skyscrapers.

 

Recking balls, laborious, yes. Wasteful, no

While wielding a wrecking ball may seem labor-intensive, it's far from wasteful. Before the era of explosives, demolition crews salvaged fixtures, wood studs, and flooring, paving the way for their reuse—a practice that contrasts sharply with the prevalent demolition practices of today.

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