Windlass Model

The windlass drum is made of two sections of different diameters, which turn together as one piece. The rope is so attached that it winds upon one section of the drum as it unwinds from the other, the net lifting or lowering effect being the difference between the length of rope wound upon the drum and that unwound. By making the sections nearly alike in diameter a large mechanical advantage is secured without making the drum too slender for strength or the crank too long for convenience. This model was made for the US National Museum to demonstrate the elementary form of the differential hoist.
This description comes from the 1939 Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States Museum Bulletin 173 by Frank A. Taylor.
Currently not on view
Object Name
model, differential windlass
date made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 12 in x 8 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in; 30.48 cm x 21.59 cm x 14.605 cm
place made
United States: District of Columbia
associated place
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Bulletin 173
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Frank A. Taylor. Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States National Museum, Bulletin 173

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