Rope Making

   Rope making is demonstrated in several area tract and farm equipment shows in the region. Marilyn Brickhaus will be making rope at the annual Old Timer’s Days held this year on May 23-24, 2015 at the Seminary Picnic Grounds in Perryville, Mo.
   Marilyn learned the art of rope making from her dad Ray in 1973 prior to his passing. Ray had bought the rope making machine at an auction years ago. She enjoys the lost art very much and she goes to several shows a year. One other show she goes to every year is the Threshman’s Association show in Pinckneyville, Ill.
   Gilbert Helvey has teamed up with Mary the past 6-7 years and for the past 2-3 years David Logflor has developed an interest in rope making too and he helps also. You can meet them all at this year’s Old Timer’s Days and ask all the questions you like.
   Marilyn uses regular baler twine now, but in the old days help was used.
   Marilyn says that rope making has been around for centuries. Sailing ships from long ago used ropes for raising and lowering sails. Farmers use ropes for many aspects of working on the farm.
   Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, rope making was a specialty craft. During that time machines used for making rope were developed and practically anyone could make rope. These machines were available from mail order catalogues and traveling salesmen. The brochures which came with these machines were limited in their information. Farmers relied on word of mouth from others who already had the machines and from practicing with their own machines to learn how to create ropes which could handle the jobs necessary for farm work.
   Rope machines are still available to purchase. Rope making is still practiced by many people. Often they are used to demonstrate how this craft was performed many years ago. There are even groups that have formed that continue the art of rope making. ∆
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