Objects Database

Ewbank Crackers

Accession Number


Object Name

Ewbank Crackers




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Four crackers on slings and two loose.




7.5,6,5.5,4,3,2.5(L) cms

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

"EM" "N" "JP""JG" "EF"





Object Production Place



Though born in Yorkshire, John Ewbank (1948-2013) spent most of his life in Australia to where he emigrated when he was just 15.
Having learnt how to climb back home he went on to become one of Australia’s most able and prolific rock climbers, inventing a new grading system for rock climbs somewhere along the way....the Ewbank System.
The 1960’s were embryonic times in the rock climbing world since harder climbs required better protection than the pebbles, chockstones and hemp slings of yesteryear. In the UK, companies such as Troll and Clog started to produce hexagon nuts made from aluminium, in America, Yvon Chouinard, was creating a refined version, the hexagonal, and in Australia, John Ewbank was creating his Crackers.
“I started a little workshop (1967) in the front room of the house where I lived with Valerie Kennedy and started making crackers in a few sizes. It slowly increased until it went from quarter inch swaged wire jobs way up to four and a half inch behemoths that could kill a man with a single blow.”
The Crackers sold well in the southern hemisphere and John eventually got a local engineering company to make them for him. It seems that extra holes were drilled around this time to make them a little lighter!
The random set we have here in the collection were kindly donated by Australian climbers, Doug McLean and Peter Jenkins. Keith Bell posted them over - thanks guys.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Doug McLean and Peter Jenkins

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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