from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wheel with pointed and angular teeth, against which a ratchet abuts, used either for converting a reciprocating into a rotatory motion on the shaft to which it is fixed, or for admitting of its motion in one direction only.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • By means of pawls which engage in the ratchet-wheel, the bit can be turned in either direction at the will of the user.

    Handwork in Wood

  • A rotary motion of the shaft is useless here, as the click, F, acts in an oblique position upon the ratchet-wheel, O, and pushes it by reason of the to and fro motion of the screw.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 514, November 7, 1885

  • This transverse motion is at first prevented by the click, F, which falls into the teeth of the ratchet-wheel fixed behind the cone.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 514, November 7, 1885

  • H is a ratchet-wheel, which, like the key-board, is insulated from the rest of the apparatus.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 315, January 14, 1882

  • ` ` From my experiments on the telephone I knew of the power of a diaphragm to take up sound vibrations, as I had made a little toy which, when you recited loudly in the funnel, would work a pawl connected to the diaphragm; and this engaging a ratchet-wheel served to give continuous rotation to a pulley.

    Edison, His Life and Inventions, vol. 1

  • Upon it was mounted a broad ratchet-wheel with a crank, while into the teeth of the wheel there played a stout, elastic slab of wood.

    Edison, His Life and Inventions, vol. 1

  • It gave me the impression of a disordered mechanism which had escaped the repressive and regulating action of some controlling part -- an effect such as might be expected if a pawl should be jostled from the teeth of a ratchet-wheel.

    Can Such Things Be

  • When the tympanum vibrates under the influence of the voice, the stylus acts as a pawl and turns a ratchet-wheel.

    Heroes of the Telegraph

  • Kenwitz would assure you in one breath that money was but evil and corruption, and that your brand-new watch needed cleaning and a new ratchet-wheel.

    Strictly business: more stories of the four million

  • The original engines of the boat, with the ratchet-wheel contrivance of Symington, are there: the very engine that propelled the first steamer on Dalswinton Lake.

    James Nasmyth: Engineer, An Autobiography.


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