Peter Bruce first patent, that I have found, was for the original 'Bruce' (as it was later called) with roll bar dated 1970, obviously the US Patent is dated later. He never used the roll bar, or not that I am aware, but as mentioned it forms part of the basis for the Bugel, which (with no disrespect) looks amazingly like a Danforth with the fluke welded to the shank. In addition to abandoning the roll bar Bruce also appears to focus on flat convex designs in their monster models today.
The Bruce (as we know it) was the first innovative design after the CQR
and Danforth and borrows nothing from either, or anything previous. As far as I know the next enduring design was the Bugel (though it had little impact in the UK), followed by Delta
by Simpson Lawrence
who developed the Delta
, as a part time project
over 6 years, in the early '80s). SL then morphed into Lewmar
. The Delta gave us the self righting shank, copied by most ever since. After the Delta we then have SARCA and Spade - interestingly both borrow little from anyone. SARCA arguably borrowed the roll bar, Spade the self righting shank - but the other components of these designs is fairly original. I could not exclude Fortress
from this history
- who obviously looked to Danforth for inspiration but stepped 'outside the box' to introduce high tech engineering and strong aluminium alloy to the mix.
With the innovations of CQR, Danforth, Bruce, Fortress
, SARCA and Spade we seem to have the foundations for almost every facet of design we see today.
The Bruce Anchor Company has gone from strength to strength and I think is still based in the Isle of Man and is one of the big innovators in oil
rig anchors (the other major company being Vryhof). If you check Chinese anchor websites you will find they make many of Bruce (and Vryhof) designs, whether they pay license fees
etc - I have no idea.
Though it is fairly obvious Peter Bruce has made his impact in the oil
industry his move from leisure anchors is our loss. The Bruce leisure anchor was hived off (from the mainstream oil industry activity), decades ago, but was eventually abandoned when, it is suggested, cheap
copies undercut the business. Many original Bruce anchors are still in use today, has many adherents and its longevity (no-one comments that they bend) suggests he got things right and did not cut corners. Maybe the 'demise' of the Bruce anchor in the leisure industry is what happens to innovative design when intellectual property is copied?
If you want to follow anchor design then the Vryhof anchor manual is an excellent place to start (unlike some other histories they have no axe to grind), though its focus on the leisure models is small. However they do go into the background for thin shanks, the importance of surface area etc. Bruce, on their website, have some interesting and educational videos.
If I have omitted anyone of importance, my apologies - its a very brief history
, you cannot mention everyone! But we do have a lot to thank Peter Bruce for, along with some other notables.