The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The ropemaker., pp. 74 ff.
74 THE ROPEMAKER. The Ropemaker twists several kinds of materials, particularly hemp, into yarn, and afterwards several strings of such yarn, as- sisted by a wheel, into a large and more compact cord. When the article is of a small description, it is called a cord; when larger, a rope; and the largest is called a cable. Ropes of all kinds are generally made of hemp twisted or spun, something after the manner of the spinning of wool. The places in which ropes are made, are called rope-walks, and are sometimes a quarter of a mile or more in length, in the open air, and have a row or rows of trees planted be- side them for shade, or are covered with a slight shed to keep the workmen from the inclemencies of the weather. At the up- per end of the walk is a spinning-wheel, which is turned round by a person who sits on a stool or bench for the purpose. The man who forms the rope, has a bundle of dressed hemp round his waist; from this he draws out two or more ends and fixes theni on a hook; the wheel is then turned, and the threads are twisted; and as the spinner walks backward, the rope is lengthened. This is a very ancient trade, though boasting of no great ingenuity.
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