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History of Rope

 

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Brief History of Rope

There is fossil evidence of man made ropes going back to the beginning time. The picture on the left shows some of the 3,500 year old ropes that archaeologists recently found in a cave in Marsa Gawasis. These ropes were used by ancient Egyptian sailors, amazingly the ropes were stored in the same way that sailors store modern ropes, coiled and tightened in the middle.

Modern Rope

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. Ropes could now be stronger, more durable, and easier to handle than anything created before. Today high-tech fibers like Dyneema have allowed modern ropemakers to build ropes that are lighter and stronger than wire.

Knots

A rope is only as strong as its weakest link. In most rope applications that weakest link is the knot. Even if you use the best knot for the job, and the knot is tied perfectly your knot will be only 50% as strong as the rope you tied it in. It is not really hard to understand why, a rope gets maximum strength by having uniform pressure on all of its strands, with a knot there is an uneven load where the knot is made. Whenever possible you should use a rope splice. But in many cases a knot is the best solution. There are many sites on the internet that show you how to tie a knot.

Rope Splicing

Whenever possible you should use a rope splice instead of a knot. A splice as a rule of thumb only weakens the line by 10% to 15%. The splice unlike the knot spreads the load over all of the ropes strands. Not so long ago rope splicing was a secret art that only real sailors and riggers knew, it was considered to complex for the average rope user. But in the early 80's Dave Salmon head splicer for Samson Cordage simplified the process. There are many how-to-videos on the internet. Check Youtube.com for the type of rope you need to splice.