Friday, February 17, 2017

My 19th Century Double Drive Spinning Wheel

I was very lucky to have a friend named Ruth  from Fiber Guild of the Savannahs help me to "rehab' my old wheel, while at the Oatland Island Harvest Festival outside Savannah last year.

Ruth taught me a whole lot and I thank her!

She believes that it is a "Pennsylvania" style wheel, and dated it to 1860 to 1890. The man I bought it from three years ago said that he and his wife bought it  at an antique store in New Hampshire in the 1960's, they were antique collectors.  I'm sure he told me that she was not a spinner. It has a treadle sewing machine band on it which broke easily so someone at some point tried to get her going.  (It was stapled together). We removed the band, which was old enough that it could be broken by hand.

We had to clean the spindle and get some gunk off.  There was also some old wool separating the bobbin from the flyer (what's pictured is actually the drive band, below is the wool which Ruth thought looked like Shetland) , and we got them moving freely.

She told me that often women would use chicken fat to oil their wheels and then little animals would chew on the wood or leather parts. Mine has some teeth marks (hard to see) around this old repair. The string from the repair would have absorbed the lubricating oil or fat and darkened the wood in this area

She thinks that the footman and the treadle are newer than the rest of the wheel especially as the footman has a more contemporary type of manufacture.  The tie up  between the footman and the treadle is loose and I will need to retie it

Ruth was very taken with the detail that the maker did to adorn this wheel which we think is mostly oak

If I get it running well enough, she will need some new bobbins