Issue #87 - January 2015

View The Highlights & Photographs From This Issue.

Our original subtitle was "a newsletter about rare and unusual spinning wheels." As we begin our 22nd year, we revisit some of these uncommon wheels. Some are from early 19th-century New England, some are from late 19th-century Canada, and some are from early 20th-century India, via England. We also learn about an ingeniously built one-of-a-kind "folk" wheel.


Rare Double-Treadle Accelerated Spinning Wheel

For decades Michael Taylor and David Pennington have puzzled over a small number of spinning wheels with two treadles and two wheels. Michael presented them in SWS Issue #45 [July 2004] when they only knew of four examples. Now they know of eight, which is still a small sample, but one was found recently with the initials SS. He hopes that this mark will provide some clues to the maker of these wheels.

Incomplete example marked SS
Incomplete example marked SS

SS mark
SS mark

Unsigned example
Unsigned example

Example marked W. KILBOURN
Example marked W. KILBOURN

Marks on Patented Pendulum Wheels

When Gordon Moat found a pendulum wheel, he recognized the structure as matching that of the "Victoria" spinning wheel patented by Lucas and Lyon in Ontario in 1868. Originally he thought it was unsigned. But in the process of disassembling it, he found that it was signed in an unexpected place.

Victoria Spinning Wheel
Victoria Spinning Wheel

Hidden mark [2a]
Hidden mark [2a]

Hard to see mark [2c]
Hard to see mark [2c]

Locations of marks on disassembled wheel
Locations of marks on disassembled wheel

A Double-Flyer Charkha
Excerpts from "The Bageshwari Charkha"

Linda Scurr in England recognized a strange object at a farm auction as a spinning wheel, but she didn't know anything about it or how it worked. Fortunately a friend put her in touch with Peter Teal, who told her it was a Bageshwari charkha. He wrote about these wheels in SWS Issue #20 [April 1998]. We look at some background on these wheels and learn how Linda upgraded hers.

Linda's Bageshwari charkha
Linda's Bageshwari charkha

Peter's charkha from rear showing plying arrangement
Peter's charkha from rear showing plying arrangement

Folk Wheel HP S713

Originally David Westcott thought of this object as a "junk wheel." But on closer inspection he discovered the clever ways a Depression-era craftsman constructed a "folk" spinning wheel with materials that he found or had in his shop.

Folk wheel side view
Folk wheel side view

Top front
Top front