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About Samson Ropes

A brief history of Samson Rope


In 1884 Samson was the at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution. Founded by James P. Tolman in a small factory in Fort Hill Square in Boston the solid braided rope they created became popular and by 1888 they had outgrown the small factory. They moved to a massive Shaker built post and beam factory in Shirley Massachusetts. Like many of the paper mill and shoe factory complexes in the area the Shirley complex included a company run store, and several homes built to house factory workers, at one point there was a water wheel to generate power. Early photographs from the turn of the century show boys as young as twelve working in the mill.

Samson created so many jobs that in the early years immigrants from Ireland, Canada, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia had to be brought it to operate the machinery. Decades past; and while the paper mills and shoe making factories all around them fell, Samson stayed strong by constant innovation and the quality of their product. In 1957 Samson engineer Kenneth L. Fogden invented the first synthetic double-braided rope. This revolutionized the use of rope for almost every application including marine, military and industrial. With a rope stronger, more durable, and easier to handle Samson quickly took its place as the recognized leader in the industry, and has never looked back.

Samson has gone through many changes in modern times, including moving from the east coast to their current location in Washington, but they have remained a leader in the industry. Today, Samson continues to push the leading edge in rope technology.