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The Story Behind the Samson Logo
James P. Tolman, chose the trademark (issued July 4, 1884) as a symbol of power. Tolman equated  the strength of Samson with the strength of his braided rope. Tolman’s sister is also credited with helping develop the logo. On her tours of the European art galleries, she had been struck by the paintings of Samson defeating the lion and suggested adapting it as the basis for a trademark. Tolman's mother and wife are also listed in the family annals as contributors to the design.


With more than 130 years of experience in the cordage industry, Samson is the worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance ropes.

Samson founder James Pike Tolman
J.P. Tolman, member of the first graduating class at MIT (1868, Mining Engineering), founded the J.P. Tolman Company in Massachusetts in 1878. Five years later, Tolman patented a new switch braiding machine (the first of 13 patents that would be issued to him through 1915). By 1888, Samson Cordage Works was incorporated in Massachusetts, with Tolman as its president. The company's keystone product was a braided cord that incorporated a reinforcing core to enhance performance and durability.

The company's famed trademark, depicting Samson slaying a lion, was registered in 1884 and is the oldest, active, registered trademark in the United States. The company's association with the strength of the Biblical character is apt, since its ropes have long been considered the best in the industry for strength and durability.

Samson Timeline

1878: J.P. Tolman founds the J.P. Tolman Company in Massachusetts.
1884: The company's now-famous trademark depicting Samson slaying a lion is registered.
1888: Samson Cordage Works is incorporated in Massachusetts; creates first braided rope with a reinforced core.
1889: American Manufacturing Co. (AMCO) is founded.
1957: Samson develops the first synthetic double-braided rope–a major innovation for the rope industry.
1962: Since the Friendship Space program, Samson double braided ropes have been used to retrieve all NASA space
         capsules launched to date.
1970: Samson installs new braider with a 21-inch circumference capacity specifically to produce ropes for the offshore
         oil and commercial marine industries.
1972: Samson Nystron double-braid rope becomes the first synthetic fiber rope used to moor an oil tanker to a loading
         buoy in the North Sea.
1977: The first flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle uses lightweight, high-strength Samson ropes to operate the shuttle’s
         cargo bay doors.
1980s: Samson continues to pioneer new technologies, introducing the first High Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE) ropes,
          with strengths 3 to 4 times that of conventional nylon and polyester fiber.
1981: Round Plait construction is introduced as RP-12 and the Tuck splice is developed with the help of tug crews
         using the rope in the Panama Canal.
1988Samson headquarters moves from Shirley, Massachusetts, to Ferndale, Washington.
1992: AMCO perfects the co-extrusion process and produces a fiber that is 30 percent stronger and three times more
         abrasion-resistant than standard polypropylene.
1993: Samson Ocean Systems, Herzog Rope, and AMCO merge to form The American Group; establishing itself as
         the worldwide leader in high-performance rope.
1996: Samson’s AmSteel®-Blue is developed to take full advantage of the benefits of 100 percent Dyneema®, and
         quickly becomes the most trusted steel wire rope replacement on the market.
1997: Samson’s plants in Ferndale, Washington, and Lafayette, Louisiana, are certified to ISO 9001 standards.
2001: The company returns to its roots and is renamed Samson Rope Technologies, with its headquarters in
Ferndale, Washington.
2003: A new proprietary fiber technologyDPX™is developed and incorporates high strength Dyneema® fiber with
         spun polyester to provide a higher coefficient of friction for better grip.
2006: DPX™ technology is patented. Quantum-8, Quantum-12 and DPX®-75 are offered for applications that require
         grip in deck hardware.
2009: MLX is the first rope incorporating Innegra™-S to be introduced by Samson.
2010: Saturn-12, made from 100% Dyneema® with a unique proprietary coating to reduce internal abrasion and
         increase the rope’s residual strength by 15 to 20 percent, is developed for the tug industry.
2012: Samson is awarded its 12th patent in nine years for its MLX rope.
2013: Company expands to add a 15,000 sq/ft state-of-the-art Innovation Center to house its growing research
          and development team.
2014: Samson partners with Manitowoc Cranes to launch K-100, the first synthetic hoist rope designed 
          specifically for mobile cranes.
An extensive investment in research, development, and in-house testing has led to the creation of even more innovative products in the 21st century. Neutron-8, for example, is the first synthetic rope to exceed 3.3 million pounds in breaking strength. This unique, patented rope construction uses 100% Dyneema® fiberthe world’s strongest fiber for its weightand offers a superior strength-to-weight ratio, as well as improved cut and abrasion resistance.

Samson engineers continue to explore new fiber and rope construction technologies to meet the demands of the commercial and recreational marine industry, arborist industry, logging industry, and more. The drive to develop new and improved products is the Samson way of life.