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Issue: #37 - July 2002

In this issue we revisit some topics we featured in earlier issues. We also look at the application of spinning-wheel maker's marks and search for a wheel by a special wheel maker from northeast Connecticut.


Picardy Spinning Wheels Revisited
by Pat Bownas

Pat Bownas of Poughkeepsie, NY, wrote about Picardy-style spinning wheels in Issue #27. Since then she has acquired three more examples (Margaret, Picardy Rose, and Libby) and learned about the one owned by Carol O'Neale Culnan of Strasburg, VA. She tells us what she has discovered about them.

Three Picardy Wheels
Margaret, Picardy Rose, and Libby
from the collection of Pat and David Bownas

Picardy-style Wheel
Picardy-style wheel
from the collection of Carol O'Neale Culnan


A Thomas Richard Tilt-Tension Spinning Wheel
by Roger A. Hill

When Roger Hill of Lena, IL, discovered a Quebec tilt-tension wheel in Iowa, he knew it was special. But it wasn't until he was restoring it, and was able to compare it to a wheel of similar structure, that he could appreciate just how special it was. He describes this wheel marked Thomas Richard and studies the characteristics of tilt-tension wheels.

All items from the collection of Roger Hill

Thomas Richard Wheel After
Thomas Richard wheel after restoration

Richard Wheel Treadle
Thomas Richard wheel underside of treadle

Thomas Richard Wheel Treadle Assembly
Thomas Richard wheel top view of treadle assembly

Thomas Richard Wheel Spinning Head
Thomas Richard wheel front view of spinning head assembly

Thomas Richard Wheel Crank
Thomas Richard wheel threaded axle with crank

DesJardins Wheel
DesJardins wheel

DesJardins Wheel Detail
DesJardins wheel detail


Spinning-Wheel Maker Marks
by Sue and Milt Bacheller

As long-time tool collectors, Sue and Milt Bacheller of Plainville, MA, are very knowledgeable about toolmakers' marks. They explain how the marks were made and applied.

HTTM Maker's Mark
Collection of the Home Textile Tool Museum

Pennington Wheel Maker's Mark
Collection of David Pennington

Cashin Wheel Maker's Mark
Collection of Eileen Cashin


Seeking: A Spinning Wheel by Obadiah Higginbotham
by Doris B. Townshend

Usually wheel collectors find a spinning wheel with a name on it and try to learn about the maker. Deb Townshend knows a lot about the 18th-century spinning-wheel maker Obadiah Higginbotham from Pomfret, CT. Now she would like to find an example of his spinning wheels to buy.

Both photos by Thomas Neill
from the collection of Old Sturbridge Village

Higginbotham Wheel

Higginbotham Maker's Mark


Two "Blodgett" Wheel-Head Labels
by Roger A. Hill

Accelerating wheel heads are a topic we have discussed in several issues. Roger Hill has found two wheel heads with slightly different labels with the name A. Blodgett on them. As usual, these labels raise more questions than they answer.

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2002 The Spinning Wheel Sleuth