Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Rope Work
This is unquestionably the greatest book on knots and rope work ever published, yet it is a valuable reference for anyone from eight to eighty. First published in 1939, it quickly became--and has remained for more than a half century--the classic in its field. Truly comprehensive in scope, this encyclopedia begins with a history of knots and rope making and proceeds into the how-to of tying and of making useful and decorative articles with rope. More than 3,600 knots are described and illustrated in 348 full-page plates.
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I've had my copy for 35 years. It is extremely useful for fanatics and maritime museum ship workers but for the beginner it might be a waste of money as it does not give good descriptions on how to tie the knots and most of the photos are that of the completed knot and not the process of tying it.
But it is after all an encyclopedia, so of the 3,600 knots, you may find many useful but the majority might be just considered trivial. It contains too much in too little space and so suffers as only being useful for "what has been made" but you have to find out how it was done!! cause you wont work it out in this book.
It does contain good information on every aspect of the old American seaman's art and trade skills as well as leisure skills regarding rope, canvas etc but it is a career rope or wire rope workers reference book not a how to tie knots for beginners.