Rope, a continuation of several twists or strings of hemp, combined by means of a wheel, and in that state employed in various branches of naval, military, and civil architecture, as well as in rural and domestic economy.
Ropes may be manufactured of -all vegetable substances that are sufficiently fibrous, tenacious, and pliant. 'Thus, the stems of aloes, the fibrous covering of cocoa-nuts, bamboos, and the leaves of the common Spanish nut-grass (Ly-geum spartum , L.), are, in the East "Indies, advantageously converted into ropes. The barks of the Linden-tree, Willow, Bramble, etc. are employed for the same purpose in Europe ; but the most durable and flexible materials hitherto discovered, are flax and hemp, the latter of which is preferred for all cordage employed for raising great weights.
From the multifarious purposes to which ropes are subservient, their manufacture is an object of considerable importance: our limits, however, permit us only to mention such patents as have been obtained for making or working them to the greatest advantage, and which have not already been Stated, under the article Cord..
In March, 1793, a patent was granted to Mr. John Daniel Bel-four, for a new invented machine in the manufacture of ropes and cordage. The object of this contrivance, is the improvement of the common method, by making every yarn bear an equal proportion of the strain or weight: for this purpose, each yarn is wound on a separate reel, which is so constructed as not to yield, or part with, the former, till it is unwound in its rotation, with a view to contribute its proportionate assistance in forming the strand.—As the construction of this machine is interesting chiefly to rope-makers, we forbear to describe it, and refer the inquisitive reader to the 2d vol. of the Repertory of Arts, etc. where a full specification is given, and illustrated with an engraving.
In November, 1798, another pa-tent was obtained by Mr. John Curr ; for a method of manufacturing flat ropes, to be used in drawing coals, water, etc. from any mine or pit. Such ropes may be made, by connecting two or more cords or small ropes sidewise, by sewing; or interweaving them with thread, or cordage made of hemp flax, or other materials; or with brass or iron wire ; so as to prevent them from separating, and to form a broad rope. The patentee observes, that this sewing or stitching may be effected in different ways; and that his machine will be found eminently Useful, and expeditious ; but, as a mere description will not convey an adequate idea of its mechanism, the reader will consult the 10th volume of the work above quoted ; in which it is fully described, and exemplified by a plate.
Rope. - A method of making ropes more durable, than may be effected on the usual plan, has lately been discovered at Wurtem-berg. It consists simply in combining the threads in a parallel direction ; and experiments have demonstrated, that such a rope, woven of 504 threads worked together, will support 13 cwt. without breaking. This contexture being three, 3-16th inches in diameter, and 111 feet in length, did not exceed 19lbs. in weight; while a common rope of similar dimensions weighed 31 1/2 lbs.