from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as swing-bolster.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
However, early the next day hope revived when five men entered, four mounting among the beams to the swing-beam with tools, one at the ladder-head shouting up orders; and Hogarth, when they had gone, whispered Harris: "They have been unscrewing the sockets in which the bell-beam swings".
About eleven, lying along two beams, they could see the portal below opened, and four men came in, looking unreal and small; whereupon the leverage wheel was pulled, the swing-beam swung, the bell struck the clapper, and throughout the tower growled grum sounds: after which the four stood talking half an hour, and went away.
It is the straight which pleases the eye, and does not allow the reader's eyes to go nodding up and down like a swing-beam.
That near Benha contains eight spans or openings of 80 feet each, and two centre spans, formed by one of the largest swing bridges ever constructed, — the total length of the swing-beam being 157 feet, — a clear water-way of 60 feet being provided on either side of the centre pier.
And groping he went, seeking the great Bell of Colmoor, which he had doomed, hearing sounds of the to-do, echoes that ran below, and the vague shout of somebody, till he touched the flat top of the bell, clamped to the swing-beam on which he sat astraddle; felt also that along the top of the beam lay an iron bar; made sure that this was in actual contact with the clamps of the bell: and, no longer hesitating, set to work upon the can.
Half went to the east, half to the west, side of the bell; and three of the cables were fastened round the swing-beam near one end, three near the other end; one three were then cast over a beam higher than the swing-beam, to the north of it; the other three cast over a beam to the south of it; and the six ends lowered -- operations which Hogarth, lying on his face, could just see; and the twelve had hardly begun to descend, when he saw a lorry backed into the gateway, filling half 1 the area of the tower; whereupon over a hundred convicts were swarming over and round it.