Monday, June 25, 2007

My mystery spinning wheel . . .


My parents were at a flea market about a month ago and came across this antique, used spinning wheel. They've always been very supportive of my artistic endeavors and knew that I have been wanting a wheel. Of course, I really thought that it would be a year or two before that happened because I had planned to save up for a new spinning wheel, but the loving parents that they are, they went ahead and surprised me with this unusual antique wheel. Now I have to figure out what to do with it and what kind of wheel it is.


I've looked up info on wheel styles in books and on the internet to find the style of wheel that it is. The closest thing that I've found is a Country Craftsman, but the mother-of-all looks very different from that on one of those wheels. The flyer area also looks like that found on a large antique Great Wheel and not more modern spinning wheel designs. I've also asked my local fiber supply shop owner, PJ, at Cottage Fiber, to see what info she might know. She thinks it is a hybrid wheel made from pieces of two other wheels and perhaps made in Canada due to its style. From what I can gather, it is either a modified saxony wheel, entirely home made wheel, or combination of two wheels put together. There aren't any maker's markings that I can find on it for identification. This wheel is a mystery to me . . .


I would certainly appreciate any help in figuring out this wheel. Please post a comment or contact me via my website if you might know any info about my mystery spinning wheel. I'd also be happy to know the titles of any good books on the subject or website links that I could research. Although I'd really like to be able to use my new (old) spinning wheel some day, for now it looks really wonderful as a decoration for my living room.

7 comments:

  1. You have a really cute blog! Thanks for sharing it in the Etsy forums.

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  2. Hi, funky,

    I don't know for sure if your new wheel is an Alden Amos model, but a friend of mine's husband found one for her at a garage sale back in March.

    She found an identifying elongated diamond on the underside of it with numbers indicating when it was hand made by Alden Amos. Hers has very little turning on the wheel spokes, but others do. See here:
    Alden Amos Spinning Wheel

    I can convo you a picture of hers if you would like.

    Just a shot in the dark, but you never know....

    Cheryl at Confections.etsy.com (stelladanza.blogspot.com)

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  3. Boy, Shalana, I don't know what the mystery wheel is. I agree, it looks like a combination.... I will definitely do some research.

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  4. This looks like a Canadian production wheel, perhaps on the early side since the treadle is wood.

    It isn´t an Alden Amos.

    The spindle on the mother of all is incorrect. Someone just stuck it there. You´re missing a flyer and bobbin assembly. Other than that the wheel looks like it's in good shape.

    Contact David Paul at The Merlin Tree in Vermont http://www.themerlintree.com/the_merlin_tree001.htm about getting a flyer assembly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi all :O) Thanks for the great info!
    Cheryl, I looked for any type of makers mark on the bottom like that for Alden Amos and didn't see any. It does look a lot like one though.

    And Marcy, a couple others have told me that they also think it is a Canadian Production Wheel or a reproduction of one. Thanks for the contact info. I really want to get it in working order.

    And, as always, thanks Maple (alpaca granny) :O)
    And to stephanie, It is nice to know that my blog was found through Etsy's forum.

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  6. The mother-of-all appears to be held onto the table with a pipe strap. Is there a way of tensioning the wheel?

    There's a chance that the intention was to modify the wheel as an Acadian cotton spinner (in which case, the spindle is pointing in the wrong direction). I think though, that it's more likely that this was cobbled together from available parts so it looked complete enough to sell as a decorative item.

    HTH!
    --Elisa

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  7. elisa, I too thought that it was just a decorative wheel at first made with bits and pieces from other wheels, but now I'm 99% certain that it is a Canadian Production Wheel. There are photos of very similar wheels of that type here: http://www.themerlintree.com/the_merlin_tree005.htm

    Also, I've been told that the mother-of-all has "tilt tension" because it moves forward and backward within its metal strap to adjust tension. Hopefully all that I need is a new flyer and bobbin to fit it as the one on it does not appear to belong. I'm still looking into all of it, but hopefully the mystery will be solved soon :O)

    Thanks everyone for all your help!!
    --Shalana (a.k.a. thefunkyfelter)

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