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Issue #58 - October 2007

In this issue we will learn about an 18th-century spinning-wheel maker from Massachusetts and a 20th-century wheel maker from California. More examples of A-frame spinning wheels and wheels with U-shaped axle cranks are reported. Another reader/ contributor comments on our repair and restoration question.


A Spinning Wheel Marked IOHN SMITH, WRENTHAM
by Michael Taylor

When Michael Taylor acquired a spinning wheel marked IOHN SMITH, WRENTHAM, he wanted to learn more about the wheel maker. Discovering that it was an 18th-century wheel, he compared it to the other signed 18th-century wheels made by the Gregg family in New Hampshire. He found some interesting resemblances and some differences.

Wheel marked IOHN SMITH, WRENTHAM, Collection of Michael Taylor
Wheel marked IOHN SMITH, WRENTHAM.
Collection of Michael Taylor

Dutch-style wheel, Collection of Michael Taylor
Dutch-style wheel
Collection of Michael Taylor

 

Col. IOHN Smith, Wheelwright
by Sue Bacheller

Sue Bacheller was recruited to research IOHN Smith of Wrentham, MA, for two reasons. First, she is an excellent genealogical researcher. Second, she lives in the town just south of Wrentham. In the course of her study, she made an interesting personal discovery.

 

Walter Mathews, Spinning-Wheel Maker From Southern California
by Edith Ogella

Edith Ogella was fortunate to know Walter Mathews [1916-2005], a spinning-wheel maker in Santa Barbara, CA. She explains how she met him and how he became involved in restoring and building spinning wheels. She describes another interesting wheel and tells us about her Mathews wheels.

Foot-driven modified great wheel by Walter Mathews, Collection of Edith Ogella
Foot-driven modified great wheel by Walter Mathews
Collection of Edith Ogella

 

More About A-Frame Wheels and U-Shaped Axle Cranks
by Florence Feldman-Wood

Reports are coming in about A-frame wheels and wheels with U-shaped cranks. Suzan Stapleford tells about some A-frame wheels in New York State. Peter Teal writes from England about an upright spinning wheel with a U-shaped crank that he owns and how he acquired it. Mary Knox describes some spinning wheels with U-shaped cranks marked Husfliden that were made in Norway and how they came to be in New Zealand. Ron Walter found a spinning wheel in Maryland that looks fairly standard from the front, but the rear view shows a U-shaped axle crank.

Close-up U-shaped axle crank on upright spinning wheel, Collection of Peter Teal.
Close-up U-shaped axle crank on upright spinning wheel
Collection of Peter Teal

Husfliden spinning wheel - Collection of Ila Phillips
Husfliden spinning wheel
Collection of Ila Phillips

Husfliden wheel - U-shaped crank - Collection of Ila Phillips
Husfliden wheel - U-shaped crank
Collection of Ila Phillips

U-shaped crank on flax wheel - Collection of Ron Walter
U-shaped crank on flax wheel
Collection of Ron Walter

 

Two Very Unusual Spinning Wheels
#1 - An Unusual Spinning wheel in Mallorca by Jim Packham
#2 - A Spinning Wheel With an Unusual Tensioning Device by Ron Walter

Two other unusual spinning wheels have been found. Jim Packham came across an upright spinning wheel in Mallorca that is unlike any others that we have seen. Ron Walter recently acquired an incomplete horizontal bobbin/flyer wheel with a very unusual tensioning device.

Spinning wheel in Mallorca
Spinning wheel in Mallorca

Wheel with unusual tension device - Collection of Ron Walter
Wheel with unusual tension device
Collection of Ron Walter

Top view with drive wheel removed
Top view with drive wheel removed

 

Update by Will Taylor

Will Taylor adds his thoughts on the question about what you need to know to repair and restore spinning wheels.

 

Inquiry: A Mystery Comb

Karen Gray submitted an Inquiry about a comb that she found. It does not resemble any others we have seen or that are pictured in books. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Mystery comb -  Collection of Karen Gray
Mystery comb
Collection of Karen Gray

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