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Old 25-06-2019, 18:35   #1
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Pioneer bronze hand anchor winch No#1

hi, i have this winch, and it is a no#1. fully working and fully intact. but i haven't polished it as yet. i tried to find the winch online and closet i got was this forum. It seems to be somewhat of a rarity to have the number 1. does anyone know the history of this winch?
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Old 25-06-2019, 19:05   #2
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

Welcome to the Forum, Macca!


I know absolutely nothing about that specific device, but I bet it's Bronze, not brass (brass wouldn't last long around seawater).
It probably also should be called a windlass as used for hauling in the anchor, as the wheel below the crank looks like a wildcat, used for hauling in chain (as opposed to rope on the larger capstan wheel to the right in your second picture).


Wishing you luck in finding out it's history!


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Old 25-06-2019, 19:17   #3
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

You could do worse than contact CF member Cooper. See: Manual Anchor Windlass
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Old 25-06-2019, 19:38   #4
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

thx, meant to write bronze. should i delete thread and do a new 1? how do you delete and do a new 1?
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Old 25-06-2019, 21:56   #5
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

Back before EPA and OSHA their used to be small foundries everywhere. Large boat yards like Herreshoff also had foundries and made their hardware on site. In the early '70s had windlass cast by the Moritz Foundry in Costa Mesa. Cut a foot off the anchor chain and he cast a gypsy to match. Really nifty piece of gear, ratchet and pawl with no springs to break, double handles so you could haul in the rode relatively fast though it still was all muscle. The windlass wouldn't pass OSHA inspection but worked a charm for us. Too bad that the Lords in Sacramento and DC shut him down though that was probably going to happen in any case as Mr Moritz was in his 60s and had no one around that looked like they would take on the business.

Anyway, your windlass is probably a creation of one of those small foundries. The geared crank handle allows you to crank continuously which may be a bit faster though the gearing will have a lot to do with that. Can't tell from the pictures how you release the chain, maybe pull the handle so the gears no longer mesh. The Moritz had a band break that worked great so you didn't get runaway chain feeding out. Would see how it works before committing to using it. These old windlasses had some quirks that weren't good for longevity, yours not the windlass.

Brass would probably work fine for a windlass. It's constant immersion in salt water below the water line that eats up the zinc in brass. Just leave the post as is. Hopefully someone knows the history of the Pioneer foundry.
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Old 25-06-2019, 22:39   #6
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

thanks, pretty sure its bronze not brass, hence why i asked if i could delete the thread and re-post with correct heading. i believe the pedal operates a brake or clutch. would be interesting to know the value of the item also.
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Old 26-06-2019, 02:24   #7
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, macca.

A mod/admin will change your thread title (brass to bronze) if you report your post and ask for the change. See the red exclamation mark at bottom left.

See:
https://www.google.com/search?q=abi+...w=1366&bih=591

http://www.rcplathco.com/photo_gallery/windlass.html

I never found anything on the "Pioneer" manual windlass.
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Old 26-06-2019, 08:06   #8
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

thx gord. ive contacted a maratime museum and asked them also.
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Old 26-06-2019, 09:35   #9
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

Looks damn handy. I'd like to have one of those. Keep you in good shape too.
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Old 26-06-2019, 10:24   #10
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

An excellent piece of gear. Haven't seen one in the flesh for many a year. I'd gladly change my pretty-pretty Lofrans electric toy windlass for one of these! It looks as if this one has a crank handle to use when the load is light and a capstan bar ("Johnny bar") for use when the load is heavy.

As someone said, back in the days when ships were ships, and mass production and "marketing" were not yet heard of, bronze foundries were everywhere. There were most likely dozens of "Pioneer" foundries. But here is one:

https://www.manta.com/c/mmsn326/pion...ry-company-inc

They say they do "grey iron" (common cast iron) but they coulda done bronze and brass in the past when that was still a commercial proposition.

So determining the provenance of this machine will not be easy. The number "1" would probably be a model number, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there were other models in Pioneer Foundry's offerings. It may mean no more than that Pioneer had hopes for the future :-).

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Old 26-06-2019, 19:53   #11
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Re: Pioneer bronze hand anchor winch No#1

thanks, yes, looks to be sturdy. made to last.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:38   #12
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Re: Pioneer brass hand anchor winch No#1

The small gear can slide across, and allow free spin. the pedal is a brake. handle can be removed on and off. great piece of history and workmanship.
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