For the Dan McCall novel, see Triphammer .
A trip hammer (alt. helve hammer) is a massive power hammer, usually raised by a cam and then released to fall under the force of gravity. Historically, trip hammers were often powered by a water wheel, known to be used in China as long ago as the Han Dynasty (202 BC?220 AD), and in medieval Europe by the 12th century. During the Industrial Revolution multiple hammers were powered via a set of line shafts, pulleys and belts from a centrally located power supply.
(1587-1666)]]In ancient China, the trip hammer evolved out of the use of the pestle and mortar, which in turn gave rise to the treadle-operated tilt-hammer (Pinyin: dui; Wade-Giles: tui).Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 183. The latter was a simple device employing a lever and fulcrum (operated by pressure applied by the weight of one's foot to one end), which featured a series of catches or lugs on the main revolving shaft as well.Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 390.