Home Films News Download Gallery Credits Resources

May 15, 2010, 10:30 AM

Film Dayton Festival

The Neon, Dayton, Ohio


June 25, 2009, 7PM

Athens County Public Library

Athens, Ohio


June 18, 2009, Noon

Yellow Springs Senior Center

Yellow Springs, Ohio


MVCC Cablecast

See MVCC  website for ongoing dates

Channel 723 throughout Miami Valley

May  6, 8PM

May 10, 8PM

May 16, 10PM


DATV Cablecast

See DATV  website for ongoing dates

Channel 20 Time Warner Cable

Dayton, Riverside, Butler Township

April 17, 6PM

April 21, 3PM

April 24, 6PM

April 30, Noon

May 5, 10AM


March 7, 2009, 1PM

Screened at daVinci Film Festival

Corvallis, Oregon


January 17, 2009, 11AM

Screening at Park City Film Music Festival, Silver Award For Excellence

Best Impact of Music in a Documentary

Park City, Utah


November 25, 2008, 7PM

Presentation at Film Dayton Film Connections at ThinkTV


November 16, 2008, 2PM

Screening at Wright Library,

Oakwood, Ohio


November 5, 2008, 10:30AM

Screening at Beavercreek Women’s League, Beavercreek Senior Center


October 2, 2008, 7PM

Screening at Beavercreek Library, Beavercreek, Ohio


August 20, 2008, 7PM

DVD signing at Blue Jacket Books, Xenia, Ohio


May 19, 2008, 7PM

Screening at Greene County Farm Forum, Xenia, Ohio


May 17, 2008, 10AM

Presentation at Cordage Institute annual meeting, Saddlebrook Resort, Tampa, Florida


April 25, 2008, 7PM

Premiere, Engineers Club of Dayton

News | Top

Ropewalk will be screened at the Film Dayton Fesitival. Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM, at The Neon, 130 E. 5th St., Dayton, Ohio. See Ropewalk on the Big Screen!


Ropewalk will be on MVCC, Time Warner Cable Channel 723 in the Miami Valley, and DATV, Time Warner Cable Channel 20 in Dayton, Riverside, and Butler Township. See airdates at right.


Ropewalk was screened at the da Vinci Film Festival in Corvallis, Oregon. “Of all the films accepted for our festival, I think Ropewalk might be the film that would have been of the greatest interest to our festival namesake. Leonardo da Vinci was a genius, true, but perhaps his greatest gift was that of boundless inquiry.”

Read the full story from Da Vinci Film Festival


Ropewalk received a Silver Award for Excellence for Best Impact of Music in a Documentary at the Park City Film Music Festival, Park City, Utah, on Saturday, January 17, 2009. At last year's Park City Film Music Festival, Ropewalk composer and musician Bruce Dalzell received a bronze medal for Best Impact of Music in a Documentary, for "A Forest Returns", coproduced by Ropewalk director Steve Fetsch with Jean Andrews.

Park City Film Music Festival


Ropewalk included in holiday buying guide: Gifts of regional films on DVD wrapped with local pride, history, humor, horror. Dayton area filmmakers serve up something for everyone’s holiday film feast.

Film Dayton listings


Ropewalk wins award: Ropewalk received a 2008 Award of Excellence in History Outreach from the Ohio Association of  Historical Societies and Museums (OAHSM). The OAHSM History Outreach Awards, presented annually since 1959, recognize projects that have educational content, that have contributed to the promotion and understanding of local and state history, and that have had an impact on the community.

Award presentation


Ropewalk accepted in MERC Online Database: The Manufacturing Education Resource Center (MERC) Online's searchable database has peer-reviewed materials submitted by educators from around the world.

MERC abstract


Wire Rope News magazine features Ropewalk as cover story:

“...A surprisingly fascinating local history lesson and a valentine to an unsung industry”

Duante Beddingfield, Wire Rope News


Wire Rope News Cover Story (PDF) (Faster, 3.7MB)

Wire Rope News Cover Story (PDF) (Hi-Res, 117MB)


Ropewalk premieres at the Engineers Club of Dayton:

April 25, 2008 Attendees filled the dining room and the better part of the auditorium. Soundtrack composer Bruce Dalzell performed live, and at a reception afterwards the crowd got to meet other participants like Athens filmmaker Steve Fetsch.

Mark Martel, The Engineers Club News

Premiere Photos and Story



Reviews | Top

“Bill Hagenbuch, 89, knows how to spin a good yarn.”

Pamela Ferris-Olsen, Dayton Daily News

Feature Story at Dayton Daily News


"The site of Xenia’s Hooven & Allison Company was destroyed

by fire in 2005, a year after the rope-making company closed. But the company’s former

chief engineer and president, Beavercreek resident Bill Hagenbuch, is still telling the story of

Xenia’s historic role in America’s rope industry and the effect of rope on human history."

Aaron Keith Harris, Xenia Daily Gazette

Interview with Bill Hagenbuch (PDF)


”The film contains strong relevance to today, showing how earlier globalization drove the need to innovate, while corporate consolidation sparked antitrust reform.”

Mark Martel, The Engineers Club News

Premiere Photos and Story




Kudos | Top

I have had the privilege of having a premier viewing of the movie "Ropewalk" and was impressed with the content. The movie tells the story of rope but also tells the story of an engineer who dedicated his life to the cordage industry. I have had the honor of knowing this gentleman since 1981 when he hired me to be the Sales Manager for Hooven & Allison in Xenia. I’m giving a DVD to our Board members, good customers, and each of our managers in Mexico. It will give them credibility they didn’t know they had.

Lyle Kelliher, CEO

Hooven-Allison LLC, Madison Georgia, and Hooven-Allison de Mexico, Merida, Mexico


Fellow Ropemakers , I must congratulate the whole team who have put together a magnificent video, with much interesting historic material, we are very lucky that The Engineers Club and the Cordage Institute have enabled Steve Fetsch to make the most of Bill Hagenbuch's knowledge of Hooven & Allison Ropewalk and all the old films. This is a must for any one interested in rope.

Des Pawson MBE

Footrope Knots Museum of Knots & Sailor's Ropework Ipswich, England


Congrats on finishing your film. I’m delighted that we could be of assistance. Yes, we would love a copy of the film. We will put it on the Archives Center’s “brag” shelf and make it available for use by AC researchers here at the Archives Center.

Wendy Shay

Motion Picture Archivist, Smithsonian Institute


Congratulations on the completion of the Hooven & Allison documentary -- I am looking forward to seeing the whole thing!! I visited the web site and was very impressed with the preview -- wow! Many of the graphics from the manufacturing aspect resembled Plymouth Cordage worksite pictures.

Doris Johnson

Plymouth Cordage Museum, Massachusetts


We have received a copy of your "Ropewalk" CD, which is extremely interesting and will be added to our extensive collection of rope and net items, archive and photographs. Would you please pass on our thanks to whoever was responsible for mailing it to Bridport Museum and thinking that a copy would be useful in our collection. Bridport, in West Dorset, SW England has a long history associated with the rope and net industry dating back to at least the 1200's. Many thanks again,

Margaret Milree

Assistant Curator, Bridport Museum, England


I received the Ropewalk DVD and it's charming and interesting. Kudos to the Dayton Engineers for putting this together. I'm sharing it with some other tallship people so we can use it as part of teaching about knots and the marlinspike traditions.

Cheers, Catherine

Tall Ship Gazela


I just looked into your excellent website. The films are real documents on ropes and ropemaking. There is nothing comparable in Germany. Sure, I will add StoryOfRope.org to my list. Best regards too,

Karl Bareuther 

Former Naval Commander, Germany


Thank you for sending the link to your documentary – what a great story! We’d like to place a piece about it in our next alumni newsletter.

Melanie L. Miller

MIT Chemical Engineering Department


I would very much like to have one of the cordage DVDs for our research materials. Thank you for this generous offer to not-for-profit organizations.

Ann Albano

Executive Director, The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio


It is always wonderful to be in contact with other people who have a passion for preserving both prehistorical and historical skills. I would love to be able to show this video in our nature center for any park patron that is interested. The DVD sounds like it will be a great addition to our educational series.

Todd Young

Kentucky State Park Naturalist


I just received, and viewed my copy of "Ropewalk - A Cordage Engineer's Journey Through History". It is AMAZING! You can order a copy at http://www.filmbaby.com/films/2752. It was produced by the Engineer's Club of Dayton. They did an excellent job!

Mike Speranza

D&M Ropesmiths, Albany, New York


I enjoyed meeting your family last week at the Cordage Institute meeting. Ropewalk has been a big hit at our factory. Thank you for what your family has given the rope industry.

Bill Pearson

Pearson Industries, Prattville, Alabama





Premiere | Top


The Ropewalk documentary World Premiere on April 25 was a rousing success. Attendees filled the dining room and the better part of the auditorium. Soundtrack composer Bruce Dalzell performed live, and at a reception afterwards the crowd got to meet other participants like Athens filmmaker Steve Fetsch. The movie’s narrator, Club member Bill Hagenbuch, enjoyed friends and family who came from as far as Oregon and Switzerland to attend.


The film describes Xenia’s forgotten cordage industry and and the possible future of rope technology. Since “opening night” Ropewalk has reached cordage professionals, museum curators and rope enthusiasts around the world.


Thanks to generous donations of money and volunteer work, the project was self-funding. Over 280 DVDs have sold and another 250 copies have been donated to libraries, museums, universities and historical societies. This helps fulfill the educational mission of the Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation, through historical preservation and education in science and technology. DVDs are available at the Engineers club, or at www.filmbaby.com.


After WWII work in radar, Bill Hagenbuch spent his career making natural and synthetic rope at the Xenia, Ohio Hooven & Allison Company, – one of the last natural fiber rope companies in America until its 2004 closing. This forgotten industry once employed thousands locally.


Since his retirement in 1986, Hagenbuch kept the local history alive with community presentations. The new Ropewalk film preserves that history through extensive archival footage, photographs, and a companion website, www.StoryOfRope.org.


The film contains strong relevance to today, showing how earlier globalization drove the need to innovate, while corporate consolidation sparked antitrust reform. Ropewalk ties together such unlikely topics as prehistoric tools, Ben Franklin, the Industrial Revolution, railroads, hemp agriculture, drug laws, WWII, globalization, plastic,s carbon nanotubes, and space travel.


By Mark Martel

Reprinted from The Engineers Club News, Summer 2008

Get the Film Soundtrack

Original score by composer Bruce Dalzell.



Ropewalk wins Ohio History Award

Ropewalk received a 2008 Award of Excellence in History Outreach from the Ohio Association of  Historical Societies and Museums (OAHSM).


More News...

Purchase the DVD Video

Includes three historical films and English subtitles.

Rent the Video

Order online for convenient delivery by mail.



Contact Us

A non-profit documentary film production for school and public libraries, local museums, and historical societies.

Copyright © Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation. All rights reserved. Web design by MartelArt.

News | Reviews | Kudos | Premiere