A hydraulic press is a machine (see machine press) using a hydraulic cylinder to generate a compressive force. It uses the hydraulic equivalent of a mechanical lever, and was also known as a Bramah press after the inventor, Joseph Bramah, of England. He invented and was issued a patent on this press in 1795. As Bramah (who is also known for his development of the flush toilet) installed toilets, he studied the existing literature on the motion of fluids and put this knowledge into the development of the press.
Pascal's law: Pressure on a confined fluid is transmitted undiminished and acts with equal force on equal areas and at 90 degrees to the container wall.
A fluid, such as oil, is displaced when either piston is pushed inward. The small piston, for a given distance of movement, displaces a smaller amount of volume than the large piston, which is proportional to the ratio of areas of the heads of the pistons. Therefore, the small piston must be moved a large distance to get the large piston to move significantly. The distance the large piston will move is the distance that the small piston is moved divided by the ratio of the areas of the heads of the pistons. This is how energy, in the form of work in this case, is conserved and the Law of Conservation of Energy is satisfied. Work is force applied over a distance, and since the force is increased on the larger piston, the distance the force is applied over must be decreased.