Digital and Print Versions of Mechanical Advantage, Tools for the Wild Vertical

Essential reading for those interested in global rock climbing history. Now Available on and!

Volume 1 (mostly European developments) :

Volume 2 (mostly USA and global tools):

Mechanical Advantage, Volume 1 ($25) Best color version: Volume 1: $42

Mechanical Advantage. Volume 2 ($30) Best color version: Volume 2: $58

Apple digital books—free!

Mechanical Advantage, Volume 1

Mechanical Advantage. Volume 2

ARCHIVE.ORG PDFs (best for researchers)

ARCHIVE.ORG provides an online viewer of the volumes, and you can also freely download the PDF files (useful for quick keyword searches). The volumes stored at are medium resolution PDFs (about 150mb each).

Mechanical Advantage, Volume 1

Mechanical Advantage. Volume 2

There are also links to higher-resolution PDFs on (about a gigabyte for the two volumes). The original posts on might be outdated as the book versions have updated research and new material, but I will leave these posts up as they still provide useful pages for standard Google keyword searches, and always appreciate comments ( is a Substack email subscriber free publication, and includes other rambles from John Middendorf about climbing and gear innovation history).