[Footnote: For previous article see SUPPLEMENT 367.]
The moving of a belfry was effected in 1776 by a mason who knew neither how to read nor write. This structure was, and still is, at Crescentino, upon the left bank of the Po, between Turin and Cazal. The following is the official report on the operation:
"In the year 1776, on the second day of September, the ordinary council was convoked, ... as it is well known that, on the 26th of May last, there was effected the removal of a belfry, 7 trabucs (22.5 m.) or more in height, from the church called Madonna del Palazzo, with the concurrence and in the presence and amid the applause of numerous people of this city and of strangers who had come in order to be witnesses of the removal of the said tower with its base and entire form, by means of the processes of our fellow-citizen Serra, a master mason who took it upon himself to move the said belfry to a distance of 3 meters, and to annex it to a church in course of construction. In order to effect this removal, the four faces of the brick walls were first cut and opened at the base of the tower and on a level with the earth. Into the apertures from north to south, that is to say in the direction that the edifice was to take, there were introduced two large beams, and with these there ran parallel, external to the belfry and alongside of it, two other rows of beams of sufficient length and extent to form for the structure a bed over which it might be moved and placed in position in the new spot, where foundations of brick and lime had previously been prepared.
FIG. 1.--REMOVAL OF A BELFRY AT CRESCENTINO IN 1776
"Upon this plane there were afterward placed rollers 3½ inches in diameter, and, upon these latter, there was placed a second row of beams of the same length as the others. Into the eastern and western apertures there were inserted, in cross-form, two beams of less length.
"In order to prevent the oscillation of the tower, the latter was supported by eight joists, two of these being placed on each side and joined at their bases, each with one of the four beams, and, at their apices, with the walls of the tower at about two-thirds of its height.
"The plane over which the edifice was to be rolled had an inclination of one inch. The belfry was hauled by three cables that wound around three capstans, each of which was actuated by ten men. The removal was effected in less than an hour.
"It should be remarked that during the operation the son of the mason Serra, standing in the belfry, continued to ring peals, the bells not having been taken out.
"Done at Crescentino, in the year and on the day mentioned."
FIG. 2.--MOVING THE WINGED BULLS FROM NINEVEH TO MOSUL
Fig. 1 shows the general aspect of the belfry with its stays. This is taken from an engraving published in 1844 by Mr. De Gregori, who, during his childhood, was a witness of the operation, and who endeavored to render the information given by the official account completer without being able to make the process much clearer.
In 1854 Mr. Victor Place moved overland, from Nineveh to Mosul, the winged bulls that at present are in the Assyrian museum of the Louvre, and each of which weighs 32 tons. After carefully packing these in boxes in order to preserve them from shocks, Place laid them upon their side, having turned them over, by means of levers, against a sloping bank of earth That he afterward dug away in such a manner that the operation was performed without accident. He had had constructed an enormous car with axles 0.25 m. in diameter, and solid wheels 0.8 m. in thickness (Fig. 2). Beneath the center of the box containing the bull a trench was dug that ran up to the natural lever of the soil by an incline. This trench had a depth and width such that the car could run under the box while the latter was supported at two of its extremities by the banks. These latter were afterward gradually cut away until the box rested upon the car without shock. Six hundred men then manned the ropes and hauled the car with its load up to the level of the plain.
These six hundred men were necessary throughout nearly the entire route over a plain that was but slightly broken and in which the ground presented but little consistency.
The route from Khorsabad to Mosul was about 18 kilometers, taking into account all the detours that had to be made in order to have a somewhat firm roadway. It took four days to transport the first bull this distance, but it required only a day and a half to move the other one, since the ground had acquired more compactness as a consequence of moving the first one over it, and since the leaders had become more expert. The six hundred men at Mr. Place's disposal had, moreover, been employed for three months back in preparing the route, in strengthening it with piles in certain spots and in paving others with flagstones brought from the ruins of Nineveh. In a succeeding article I shall describe how I, a few years ago, moved an ammunition stone house, weighing 50 tons, to a distance of 35 meters without any other machine than a capstan actuated by two men.--A. De Rochas, in La Nature.