The Evolution of the Tower Crane

Tower Crane

Tower cranes are responsible for some of the world’s biggest and tallest skyscrapers. After all, you can’t build things that tall without some help!

Before the 1900s, cranes weren’t ubiquitous like they are now. In fact, in the 1800s for example, rudimentary tower cranes were lifting tools featuring a boom attached to a rotating base with a hinge. Then came a version of tower cranes featuring suspended beams and trolleys, though they were too heavy and inefficient for use in cities.

Rebuilding Post War 

In 1949, a German man named Hans Liebherr came up with a revolutionary machine that he hoped would help rebuild major cities after World War II. His design featured a rotating tower and horizontal working arm. With a 360-degree range, this design was ideal for construction purposes. Thus, these types of tower cranes were used to build up the skylines of many major cities the world over, from Tokyo to Vancouver and beyond.

More Robust Tower Cranes 

Around the 1970s, manufacturers stopped making hydraulically-powered tower cranes– switching to electric alternatives instead. Just like other things became stronger, more versatile and more energy-efficient with time and technological developments, so did tower cranes.

Today’s tower cranes are engineering marvels that allow for construction of skyscrapers that are even higher up in the air than their very tall predecessors. If you were to visit New York City in 2021, for instance, you’d especially notice the many tall and thin skyscrapers built surrounding Central Park– buildings that wouldn’t have been possible a couple decades ago. Tower cranes are the main reason cities can “go vertical,” high into the sky!

Do you work for a company that needs to rent a tower crane to be used in cities like Boston, Providence, Hartford or other cities around New England? Astro Crane rents tower cranes; Please call 978-429-8666 for more info, or use the online contact form, here. Also, take a look at our fleet, here.