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The Ashley Book of Knots Hardcover – June 21, 1944
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There is a branch of mathematics called "knot theory". It deals with one-dimensional fibers crossing in 3-space, and no other dimensionality has quite the same properties. A strand, wrapped around another and holding it, is a remarkable thing.
Daily jobs in older eras touch abstract math in this book. It's a remarkable encyclopedia of practical, beautiful, and profound ways of pulling things together. Ashley shows bows, buttons, nooses, braids, knots, bights, and seemingly endless other ways to make simple strings into tools, toys, and decorations.
You will come away from this book with respect. All those different people - fishermen, sailors, weavers, surgeons, and shipping clerks - all of them had their own needs and only strings to meet those needs with. They did their jobs, and did them well, using the techniques remembered in this book. What's more, mathematicians use this book as a fundamental reference. Just about any twist in space was named here, so Ashley has become the catalog. When a mathematician refers to "Ashley #128", the structure has been specified completely.
This is history, practice, theory, and fun between the same covers. No working library can be without it.
In his pursuit of ropework, Mr. Ashley spent six months at sea on the whaling bark SUNBEAM; and six weeks on a Delaware Bay oysterman called a 'bugeye'. He interviewed tradesmen, such as: steeplejacks, cobblers, truckdrivers, butchers, electric linesmen, and boyscouts as well as sailors and sea captains to document each nuance of knot unique to its trade. He was taught a few knots by Mr. Ringling himself of circus fame; and taught a knot to Mr. DuPont, a captain of industry.
The result of Mr. Ashley's research was a significant collection of 7,000 drawings of 3,900 knots and their application in a 620 page knot tyers tome which has become a veritable bible for rope workers the world over. In just about any capacity that a rope can be utilized has found its way into THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS. Mr. Ashley has covered: netting, lashings, block & tackle, splices, hitches, and bends. He went from purely decorative knots with no practical value to knots applied to industrial use. He included a whole chapter on rope tricks and puzzles. There is an amusing catalog of small figures the author drew to rate the quality of each knot described, such as a deuce of clubs to designate 'unimportance', or an kedge anchor to indicate 'reliability'.
Equally important as the knot's description was their utilization on incidental equipment. Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had many books on knots over the years, and I always go back to this one. Ashley describes the knots, how to tie them, characteristics such as propensity to jam, usage, and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Jim McCool
Amazing book but a bit to much for most people unless you really like to tie knots.Published 5 days ago by x
This is the mother of knot tying guides. Nothing else comes close. And if you check your knot tying apps for your smartphone, this book is the reference. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Waleed Sayed
Best tome ever on knots. When you get started it's hard to stop. Guess that's why it's referred to as the bible for knots.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer