The Fluke Anchor


© Photographed May 28, 2015
Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin
44°49'43.6"N 87°22'53.4"W
44.828785, -87.381507
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The Fluke Anchor
From the earliest days of humans putting to sea in ships, there has been a need to "anchor" a vessel to the bottom. The first anchors were simply large stones. However, the need for a lighter, more efficient securing device quickly became essential. Mechanic devices with "teeth" that could dig into the bottom of the sea and be easily retrieved by the ship's crew for reuse were soon standard equipment aboard all vessels.
The anchor on exhibit here is a fluke-style or "Danforth" anchor. American Richard Danforth invented the Danforth pattern in the 1940s for use aboard landing craft. It uses a stock at the crown to which two large flat triangular flukes are attached. The stock is hanged so the flukes can orient toward the bottom. Tripping palms at the crown act to tip the flukes into the seabed. The design is a burying variety, and once well set can develop high resistance. Its lightweight and compact flat design make it easy to retrieve and relatively easy to store. You'll note that the flukes (the large flat teeth) of this particular anchor have been widened to increase its holding power once set into the seabed.
As indicated by the casting marks on the shank, this anchor originally weighed 5,000 lbs. The additional steel added to the flukes has bade it even heavier. The casting marks also indicate that it was manufactured in Chester, Pennsylvania by the Baldt Corporation in 1955 and for the U.S. Navy. Baldt is a famous name in the realm of anchor design and manufacturing and from 1901 until 1975 it was one of the world's largest producers of marine anchors. Thousands of Baldt anchors are still in service.
This particular anchor was donated by the Roen Salvage Company. Located adjacent to Sawyer park to the southeast, Roen Salvage specializes in marine construction and dredging. In addition to the Roen Salvage Company, the Door County Maritime Museum helped to create this exhibit.
The marker is one of several located at Sawyer Park on the west side of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, accessible from eastbound East Maple Street at its convergence with Oregon Street, at its intersection with South Neenah Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 54235.

Click here to view all markers at Sawyer Park.

The marker and the "Danforth" anchor.

The pathway leading to more historical markers.


View of the Sawyer Park pavilion and the historical markers.

The marker is located at the Sawyer Park Boat Launch.

The marker is located at Sawyer Park.

Sawyer Park is located at the Historic Downtown Waterfront
in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

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