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Rope Maker HC164

A metal rope maker.

The New-Era Rope Machine was one of the best selling rope makers in the USA.

Rope was one of humankind’s earliest tools. History records rope making as far back as 7,000
years ago.  The materials that people used to make rope varied and depended on the locality and use of the rope. Rope has been made out of many things such as hide, hair, plant fibres, tree bark, cotton wire, silk, and simple vines.  Twisting or braiding strands of these materials together made them stronger than single untwisted fibres. The first methods of rope making were similar to weaving plant fibres into mats and baskets. Fibres are spun into twine, and twine is used to make rope.

Click here to see how rope is made using this type of rope maker

Tauranga Moana was the centre of a thriving harakeke flax industry in the 1800's. The production of muka (flax fibre) was in much demand by traders, who on-sold the muka to create rope for sailing ships. 

"European explorers visiting New Zealand in the 1700s quickly saw the possible uses of flax. Rope was then in demand for rigging on sailing ships and many other purposes. Māori demonstrated their skill in ‘dressing’ flax (stripping the fibre from the leaves). They made flax ropes for visiting ships and bartered flax and weaving for European goods. This exchange of products and skills helped bring Māori and Europeans into close contact with each other for the first time."

 Early 20th Century

manufacturer: Continental Trading Corporation, Chicago, USA

maximum dimension: 220mm

subject area: Technology, Social Science. Science

subject themes: Technology, Industry, Commerce, Trade, Tauranga Moana

handling collection number: HC164

Handling information:
To Handle
Additional information:
Caution Required
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