The cranes Samson and Goliath.
The cranes are situated in the shipyard of Harland & Wolff, builders of the RMS Titanic. The cranes were constructed by the German engineering firm Krupp, with Goliath being completed in 1969 and Samson in 1974. Goliath stands 96 metres (315 ft) tall, while Samson is taller at 106 metres (348 ft). At the time Harland & Wolff remained one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, with the yard's eventual demise some years off. The announcement that they were to be built was an important event at the time. It signalled that one of Northern Ireland's largest employers was to expand at a time when the country's Troubles were raging, and consequently inward investment was at a low.
Each crane has a span of 140 metres (459 ft) and can lift loads of up to 840 tonnes to a height of 70 metres (230 ft), making a combined lifting capacity of over 1,600 tonnes, one of the largest in the world. Prior to commissioning, the cranes were tested up to 1,000 tonnes, which bent the gantry downwards by over 30 centimetres (12 in). The dry dock at the base of the cranes is the largest in the world measuring 556m x 93m .