, or Windlace, a particular machine used for raising heavy weights, as guns, stones, anchors, &c.

This is a very simple machine, consisting only of an axis or roller, supported horizontally at the two ends by two pieces of wood and a pulley: the two pieces of wood meet at top, being placed diagonally so as to prop each other; and the axis or roller goes through the two pieces, and turns in them. The pulley is fastened at top, where the pieces join. Lastly, there are two staves or hand spikes which go through the roller, to turn it by; and the rope, which comes over the pulley, is wound off and on the same.


, in a Ship, is an instrument in small ships, placed upon the deck, just abaft the foremast. It is made of a long and thick piece of timber, either cylindrical, or octagonal, &c, in form of an axletree, placed horizontally across the ship, a foot or more above the deck; and it is turned about by the help of handspikes put into holes made for that purpose.

This machine will purchase or raise much more than a capstan, and that without any danger to those that heave; for if in heaving the Windlass about, any of the handspikes should happen to slip or break, the Windlass will stop of itself, as it does at the end of every pull or heave of the men, being prevented from returning by means of a catch that falls into notches. See fig. 15, pl. 35.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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WILKINS (Dr. John)
WREN (Sir Christopher)
WRIGHT (Edward)