Submitted by M.Lenz, Collections Assistant
This handmade wooden rope making machine represents three generations of the Capadouca family who were Greek pioneers of Deas Island, located east of Steveston village. Few people are aware that Deas Island was home to a vibrant Greek community, beginning in the 1890’s. Peter (Pantelis) Capadouca built this rope making machine at the turn of the century and it was donated to the Cannery over 100 years later by his son Jim and grandsons Tony & Peter.
The machine made rope from used gillnets. Three pieces of the net were hooked onto the back of the machine. One person moved the rotating arm which braided the strands together while another person hammered the rope with a wooden mallet to tighten the knots. Pictured with this machine (above) is rope made from a used net, donated by Lynne Waller.