The column erector is a device used by ancient cultures to lift extremely heavy weights, like columns, from the horizontal to the vertical. Due to some silly huge gear reduction, only four workers are required to turn a crank that will enable the rest of the device to lift thousands of pounds. It would most likely have been designed in Renaissance times, but could have been created by a forward thinking Greek or Roman, assuming he or she had the understanding of gears.
As the large crank is turned by the workers at the top of the device, the rack is pulled through. The base of the column is supported on a cart that is attached to the end of the rack.