Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Rope Gearing

Rope Gearing is a means of transmitting power between rotating shafts. It is similar to belt gearing, save that hemp (or occasionally cotton) ropes, an inch or more in diameter, are used instead of belts. As the rope rests in a V groove, it is jammed against the sides of the groove with considerable force, and is thus less liable to slip than a flat belt. Ropes of large diameter would not be flexible enough to bend round pulleys of reasonable size, so a number of separate ropes are used whose united strength is sufficient to transmit the requisite force. The grooved wheels and round leather or cat-gut bands used in sewing machines and lathes are simple forms of rope gear.