A windlass a device for raising or hauling objects of heavy weight. With regard to the operation of sea craft a windlass is often referred to as an anchor windlass and properly interchangeable with capstan. An anchor windlass is a machine that restrains and manipulates the anchor chain on a boat, allowing the anchor to be raised and lowered by means of chain cable. A notched wheel engages the links of the chain or the rope.

Frank Stead Manton (1838-1909) of Providence, Rhode Island is the inventor affirmatively credited with the conception of the ship's anchor windlass and patented the apparatus that subsequently became known as the "Manton Patented Windlass". Manton was the head of American Windlass Company, est. 1857 until his death in 1909. 













Researched & Compiled by Susan Donnelly