This material has now had sufficient time for a thorough test ing, and for all purposes to which it hasbeen applied, it has been found to answer much better than hemp. Its applicability for ships' rigging has been put to a careful test at Liverpool, when the following results were obtained:—3J inch galvanized wire rope broke at 20 tuns 15 cwt.; 3| inch | Manilla hemp, do., 5 tuns 17 cwt. ; 3| inch Russian hemp, do., 4 tuns 15 cwt.; 3^ inch galvanized wire rope, do,, 16 tuns 10 cwt.; 2J inch galvanized wire rope, do., 8 tuns 10 cwt. How far these results may be counterbalanced in the matter of convenience, it belongs to experience only to decide. The Liverpool Post says, in reference to the-supe, : rior strength of iron as shown in the above experiment :— "But from a table handed to us we perceive that this is not the sole, or indeed we might almost say the greatest, of the advantages it presents. For instance, we observe that wire rope is a fourth less in weight, and not one-half the bulk of that made of the hemp of the relative strength and enduring capacity. The advantage of this, especially in beating to windward, needs no comment. Moreover, we are assured the cost is 25 per cent in favor of wire rope over hemp, estimating weight and saving. Again, wire-rigging is much less susceptible of atmospheric changes, the latter continually stretching. And when, in addition to all these advantages, it is remembered that wire rigging needs no stripping or refitting, as hemp rigging must have every few years, we cannot but come to the conclusion that wire rope seems destined ere many years to surpass, if it shall not entirely supersede, hemp rope in ships' standing rigging. Already, indeed, we see that for years it has been creeping into more general use ; and if the approval of experience can add, as it must, to the value of scientific tests, the use of it will be even more than proportionately rapid, for those who have used it invariably prefer it over hemp."
This article was originally published with the title "Iron Wire Rope" in Scientific American 13, 12, 89 (November 1857)