Wine press and lever

Florence, Opera Laboratori Fiorentini

This model illustrates an ancient type of wine press, according to the replica at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. After the first crushing, the marc was placed in a wooden cage to be pressed. The praelum, or beam, had to be large and heavy. The narrower end was inserted into a vertical element, held locked in place by wedges. This was the fulcrum of the system, which allowed the beam to crush the pulp with its weight. As this operation was often not sufficient, one of the workers also exerted pressure on the sucula, a winch at the opposite end driven by sticks inserted into a circular drum. A rope wound around the beam and passing through a pulley inserted in a wooden frame was used to raise the praelum upon completion of the operation.