PULLEY BLOCKS

During the excavation, there were so many different types of pulley blocks recovered that it would be impractical to list them all here. However, it is true to say that with only one exception, the blocks were all constructed in the same manner and from the same materials. The outer casings are made of Elm and always manufactured in one piece. The sheaves (or wheels) themselves are made from LIGNUM VITAE.

The blocks recovered from the wreck were extremely varied in their size, shape and condition. Not only does the image above show some of the variation, but also the incredible condition of these wonderful artefacts.

 
I remember vividly, uncovering the single block (above). As you can see from this underwater image, it was squashed tight between two massive oak timbers. It took several hours of careful excavation to finally free the object from where it had come to rest more than 200 years previously.   Above is another of the massive blocks lying in the position it was found within the wreck. The dark oval shape at the bottom of the picture is a squashed leather bucket.
 
The block depicted on the right shows gribble worm degradation on the right side. Despite this however, the remaining material is very stable. So stable in fact, that we were able to secure new rope to the block in exactly the same fashion as would have been used back on board Invincible in the mid eighteenth century. This block measured 458 mm in length (18")
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