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Bladensburg in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Colonial Ropemaking

 
 
Colonial Ropemaking Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. Colonial Ropemaking Marker
Inscription. One of the maritime industries that was present in the colonial port of Bladensburg was the making of rope and various other types of cordage. In colonial and nineteenth century America, this activity took place in a manufacturing facility known as a ropewalk. A ropewalk was an extremely long and narrow building, in which rope was made. Workers walked the length of the building in the course of laying down strands of rope.

The following advertisement, promoting the ropewalk of prominent merchant and town founder Christopher Lowndes, appeared in the June 26, 1755, issue of the Maryland Gazette newspaper:

To Be Sold by the Subscriber, at his Rope-Walk in Bladensburg, All Sorts of Cables, standing and running Rigging of every Sort and Size; also Spun-Yarn, Marline, Housing, Amber-line, deep See-Lines, Log-Lines, Lead-Lines, and any Kind of Rope that can be made of Hemp; likewise Sail-Twine, Whipping Twine, Seine-Twine, Drum Lines, &c. Any person wanting a Quantity, not under Five Ton, shall have it delivered at their Landing on this Bay, at the same Price it sells for at the Walk; and all Orders shall be strictly observed, both as to Size and Length. - Christopher Lowndes

A portion of the Plymouth Cordage Company, a ropewalk similar to the one that existed in Bladensburg, in on exhibit at Mystic Seaport
Colonial Ropemaking Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
2. Colonial Ropemaking Marker
- The Museum of America and the Sea - in Mystic, Connecticut. The original building, which measured 1,050 feet in length, was built in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1824.

Text with upper-right illustration: Plate 476, entitled "Ropemaking II," from Diderot's Eighteenth Century Encyclopedia of Trades and Industry

Text with middle-right illustration: Spinning loft, at Mystic Seaport, where raw fibers were twisted into yarn.

Text with middle photo: Front view of the Plymouth Cordage Company ropewalk rebuilt at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.

Text with lower-right photo: Side view of the Plymouth Cordage Company ropewalk being rebuilt in 1951 for Mystic Seaport.
 
Location. 38° 56.081′ N, 76° 56.303′ W. Marker is in Bladensburg, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Annapolis Road (Maryland Route 450) and 46th Street. Click for map. Marker is in Bladensburg Waterfront Park, .2 miles south of the entrance at this intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First Telegraph Line (1844) (a few steps from this marker); Joshua Barney's Barge and the Chesapeake Flotilla
Plymouth Ropewalk image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2013
3. Plymouth Ropewalk
Front view of the Plymouth Cordage Company ropewalk rebuilt at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Bladensburg Floods (1742-1954) (within shouting distance of this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (within shouting distance of this marker); The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker); Dinosaur Alley (within shouting distance of this marker); Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Clearing the Way to Washington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Bladensburg.
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & Commerce
 
Plymouth Cordage Company Sideview image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2013
4. Plymouth Cordage Company Sideview
Side view of the Plymouth Cordage Company ropewalk being rebuilt in 1951 for Mystic Seaport.
Close-up of photo on marker
Spinning Loft image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2013
5. Spinning Loft
Spinning loft, at Mystic Seaport, where raw fibers were twisted into yarn.
Close-up of photo on marker
Ropemaking image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2013
6. Ropemaking
Plate 476, entitled "Ropemaking II," from Diderot's Eighteenth Century Encyclopedia of Trades and Industry
Close-up of illustration on marker
The Rope-Walk Pavilion at Bladensburg Waterfront Park image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
7. The Rope-Walk Pavilion at Bladensburg Waterfront Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 4,047 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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