Copyright 2009 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
Interior detail of the Plymouth Cordage Company, a larger portion of which is shown in 'Consigned to Hell'.
Plymouth Cordage was, by the late 19th century, the world's largest rope manufactory. Mystic Seaport has carefully preserved 250 feet of the original structure's ropewalk, part of the 1000-foot length of the 1824 building. Unbelievably, the original plant was in operation until 1947, when it was finally modernized. Plymouth Cordage closed the doors of this newer plant in 1964, when it ceased 140 years of continuous manufacture.
This detail of the ropewalk displays a warm glow that was totally absent from the actual site during the years of its operation. It is here, in this dreary and dangerous place, that immigrant laborers and - from 1824 into the early 20th century - adjudicated children spent many long hours toiling amid darkness, dust and fibers that destroyed lungs, and the never-ending noise of large and often lethal mach...