09/04/2018 21:07 SAST | Updated 09/04/2018 21:07 SAST

27 Awe-Inspiring Photos Of Average-Sized Humans Next To Huge Machines

A larger-than-life look into feats of manufacturing.

When looking at something as massive as a space shuttle or ocean liner, it can be hard to fathom that they came into being thanks to the work of many, comparatively small, human hands. 

Keep scrolling to see some gargantuan machines made throughout history with the relatively tiny people who helped to build them.

  • Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
    RMS Mauretania in Canada Dock in Liverpool, England, 1909 (reference number DS.WS/143/68).
  • Sean Sexton via Getty Images
    A large boiler being loaded onto a ship for export at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast, circa 1910.
  • Getty Images
    The boilers of the White Star liner Olympic, the largest vessel in the world at the time. It  was launched on Oct. 20, 1910. The Olympic underwent a refitting in October 1912 to add more lifeboats onboard and extended the height of its watertight bulkheads after the devastating sinking of its sister ship Titanic months earlier. (You can spot someone toward the back of the photo.)
  • General Photographic Agency via Getty Images
    A giant condenser is hoisted up to its position on board the Cunard liner Aquitania during its construction at the John Brown & Company shipyard, Clydebank circa 1912. 
  • Firmin via Getty Images
    Men at work on the propellers of the merchant ship Mauretania during her refitting in the dry dock at Cherbourg, France, in May 1924.
  • ullstein bild Dtl. via Getty Images
    Production of a giant steel volute case for a turbine circa 1930.
  • E. Phillips via Getty Images
    The cap of one of the four propellers shipped from London to a shipyard in Scotland for the new Cunarder 534. The vessel had stood untouched for 27 months during construction because Cunard had financial problems and it became a symbol of the depression.

    The British government eventually loaned Cunard the money to complete the project and 400 dockers were serenaded back to work by a pipe band on Aug. 4, 1934.
  • Fox Photos via Getty Images
    The launch of the Empire Star at a shipyard in Belfast on Sep. 26, 1935. The ship was lost in 1942 while carrying WWII ammunition and aircraft. Torpedoes from a German submarine sunk the vessel.
  • Bettmann via Getty Images
    Part of the huge rotor for the waterwheel generator to be used in the Tennessee Valley Water Works' Pickwick Landing Dam in the Tennessee River in Hardin County, Tennessee, circa 1935.
  • Frederic Lewis via Getty Images
    Workers in a factory operate a row of huge mechanical presses circa 1935.
  • New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
    Crowds gather around the Hindenburg dirigible in a Lakehurst, New Jersey, hangar on May 10, 1936.
  • Hulton Deutsch via Getty Images
    This giant shovel excavator at the iron mine of Stewart & Lloyd was, in 1934, the largest in Europe, able to scoop 15 tons at once. 
  • Toronto Star Archives via Getty Images
    The fireman of this locomotive — one of the largest in use by the Pennsylvania Railroad— was killed and the huge engine was left in this precarious position after a freight train jumped a switch near McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 1944.
  • Keystone via Getty Images
    A team of painters at work on the hull of the ship Queen Mary circa 1951.
  • Frank Lennon via Getty Images
    Mining the "world's largest sandbox" in the Athabasca tar sands is a job for big machines; like this 150-ton truck in Alberta, Canada, in 1968.
  • Fox Photos via Getty Images
    The giant autoclave at the North American Rockwell's Tulsa division in Oklahoma in June 1969. It was used in the manufacture of Apollo space hardware.
  • Science & Society Picture Library via Getty Images
    The picture shows the Marine Running Tunnel (South) Boring Machine working its way toward France during the construction of the Channel Tunnel in Sep. 1990.
  • Georges DeKeerle via Getty Images
    Deactivation of nuclear missiles in Russia circa 1995.
  • Neville Elder via Getty Images
    Children stand in the wheel wells of Bigfoot 5, Ford's monster truck, on June 13, 2003. The monster truck was the world's largest as of 1986, and its tires measure 10 feet high.
  • Ton Koene/Visuals Unlimited, Inc. via Getty Images
    Workers walk toward a huge coal excavator at Maritsa Iztok, the largest coal mine in Bulgaria. Many large excavators, up to 70 m high, work day and night to supply the coal that provides 85 percent of the country's energy in September 2008.
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Ralph Saunders, a shovel mechanic, left, and Justin Mortimeyer perform a safety inspection on a Hitachi excavator at the Cripple Creek and Victor gold mine in Victor/Cripple Creek, Colorado on Nov. 5, 2009.
  • Joe Raedle via Getty Images
    Space shuttle Discovery rolls to the launch pad after emerging from NASA's vehicle assembly building atop a crawler transporter at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Jan. 31, 2011.
  • Arterra via Getty Images
    Brown coal/lignite being extracted by huge bucket-wheel excavators at open-pit mine, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany on March 24, 2012.
  • Reuters
    A crew member operating a BelAZ 75710 truck of the Chernigovets coal company, outside the town of Beryozovsky, Kemerovo region, Siberia, Russia in April 2016.
  • NOAH SEELAM via Getty Images
    Indian Central Industrial Security Force and airport personnel stand near the heaviest airplane ever built, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, at Rajiv Gandhi International airport in Hyderabad on May 13, 2016. The aircraft was initially built in 1988 to transport the Buran, a Soviet spaceplane. 
  • Yuri Smityuk via Getty Images
    A person works on a large anti-submarine ship docked at the Dalzavod Ship Repair Centre in Vladivostok, Russia, on Jan. 27, 2017.
  • Reuters
    Jake Chopin, from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, pumps his arm in the air at the conclusion of a Seattle, Washington, tunnel drilling by Bertha, the world's largest tunnel-boring machine, in April 2017.
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