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The New-Era Rope Machine

Date: 18 July 1911
Dimensions:
220 x 180 x 180 mm
Medium: Steel, wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Rope machine
Object No: 00040515

User Terms

    Description
    Rope making machine titled 'The New-Era Rope Machine', dated July 18 1911. The device, made by Continental Trading Corporation Ltd, Chicago, consists of a wooden handle and central cog which turns four hooks.
    SignificanceThis rope making machine is significant in being similar in design to industrial rope making machines used today. It is also interesting that a design for a machine used precisely this way and functioning in much the same manner, can be found among the countless sketches drawn by Leonardo da Vinci some 400 years earlier.
    HistoryRope making machines like this one are indelibly linked to turn-of-the-century American farms and boatyards. Labor-saving machines like the cotton gin and the mechanical reaper were hallmarks of the industrial revolution. These machines not only eased the workload of the American farmer, they often spawned smaller, but equally clever innovations.

    With a tool like this, the farmer or boat builder could twist his own rope using the same type of binder twine the reaper used to tie bales. This was quite a convenience in a time when rope was scarcely available, or affordable, outside the shipping industry. In fact, these hand-crank machines were actually adaptations of much larger versions used to turn out rope for maritime use.

    The operation differed only in scale. Both sizes used reciprocal gearing to twist the rope strands in one direction while braiding them in the opposite direction. And the rope could be made to the perfect length and thickness for its intended use.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The New-Era Rope Machine

    Assigned title: The New-Era Rope Machine

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