Jason Clarke Antiques

Salesmans Sample of a Wasteneys Smith Patent Stockless Anchor


For sale, a rare salesman’s model of a Wasteney Smith improved patent F-Type anchor.

The shank is rectangular in section and tapers to a rounded top to which is attached a D-ring shackle. Towards the bottom of the shank is a double shackle which pivots on a central rivet. On the faces of the shank are two inscriptions: 'Wasteney Smiths Improved Patent' and 'Newcastle on Tyne'. The arms have flat rectangular bottoms and tall integral flukes that are half the height of the shank. The base is further engraved with the inscription: ‘F-Type’.

Wasteney Smith produced secured five varying patents (1871, 1874, 1885, 1899 & 1904) and this is likely to have been a salesmans sample or perhaps a model that would have been used as a submission for Governmental contracts. His anchors were favoured by The Royal Navy in the early part of the Twentieth Century and he maintained that relationship until 1912. The competition for sales to large bodies such as the Royal Navy and The Royal Life Boat Institution were fierce and there is evidence of trials involving his anchors in numerous contemporary journals.

Although this particular model is not present in the Greenwich National Maritime Museum, a large collection of model anchors exists as part of their inventory which may have been a result of aforementioned submissions.

William Wasteney Smith was born in Conisborough in 1838 and served an apprenticeship with the locomotive builders Fodds & Sons of Rotherham but in 1859 he left to join the Royal Navy as an Assistant Engineer serving for four years on HMS Bacchante in the Pacific.

Eventually leaving in 1866, he took a position as a civil engineer with Waring Brothers and was sent to Portugal to assist with railway construction and by 1868 he was appointed Inspector of Bridges to the Russian government and spent time overseeing work carried out by Hawks, Crayshaw & Co in Newcastle who were commissioned to provide ironwork for the Trancaucasian railways.

Remaining in Newcastle, in 1872 Wasteney Smith started to trade on his own account, a company that eventually incorporated his sons to become Wasteneys Smith & Sons. The move is likely to have co-incided with his patenting of an improved stockless anchor in 1871.

The US Patent remains available and reads thus:

“Be it known that I, William Wasteneys Smith of Newcastle on Tyne, have invented certain improvements in anchirs of which the following specification:

This invention consists in certain improvements in anchors, in which, by using a crosshead at the crown end, no stock is needed; at the same time greater steadiness is imparted, while from the large section offered for resistance, increased holding power is given. Also, by this steadying power being at the crown end, when the cable lifts the shank off the ground the nchor will not uncant as all anchors with stocks, or those that are curved at the crown end instead of square, do. By this means a ship may ride in safety with much less cable – an important advantage. Another improvement is the position and the use of the horns of the loose arms; which being always bearing points for the anchor when on the ground, they cause the arms to enter as soon as any strain is put on the cable, and by giving great bearing surface at wide distance from each other, they greatly add to the steadiness of the anchor.  

Wasteney Smith died in 1914 but his company continued under his son’s management and it seems to have existed until the latter part of the Twentieth Century.

A rare and desirable miniature model, circa 1904

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