Now sold around the world, the Original Pawley's Island Rope HammockŪ
was created in 1889 at Pawley's Island, which remains one of the oldest
summer resorts on the South Carolina coast. Credit for its invention is
given to Captain Joshua John Ward, who found the grass-filled mattresses
on his river boat too hot during the summer months
Captain Ward had several unsuccessful attempts, making uncomfortable
hammocks, before stumbling across the familiar design that incorporates
wooden spreaders and no knots. One century later, the design is still
unsurpassed and the Original Pawley's Island Rope Hammock remains one of
the most popular models.
Today's version of Captain Ward's hammocks use custom designed stretcher
bars that are cut from seasoned, Carolina red oak. The bars are then
steamed, bent, drilled, sanded and varnished, offering optimum stability
and, more importantly, optimum comfort. The hammocks are available in the
traditional, all-cotton rope or soft-spun polyester rope.
As they were in 1889, the hammocks are still hand woven. Once woven, the
hammock body is connected to strong plaited ends and then strung through
the oak stretcher bars. The ends are attached to the body using nautical
bowline knots attach the ends to the body of the hammock. Each hammock
is marked with the traditional metal tag to ensure its authenticity as an
Original Pawley's Island Rope HammockŪ once it has been carefully inspected.
South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond has given every U.S. President
since Truman a Pawley's hammock as a gift. Mickey Spillane, Kareem Abdul
Jabar, Barbara Mandrel, and Tom Selleck are just a few of the many
celebrities who have owned an Original Pawley's Island Rope HammockŪ,
while Magic Johnson ordered a custom made 7-foot long hammock to
accommodate his extraordinary height.