© 2016 - 2019 Friends of the D.D. Collins House

Acquisitions

The Spinning Wheel
A gift from Donna Dugan of Troy, Illinois, a welcome addition ~

This photo shows the parts of the spinning wheel.

The spinning wheel that was gifted to the Friends of the D.D. Collins House appears to be a wool wheel, used for spinning various types of wool into yarn. It has one wheel and is operated by hand while standing. Although this wheel is missing several parts, including a tension device, spindle and driving cord which would make it functional, it is an excellent example of spinning wheels.

 

Because the spinner had to stop spinning in order to wrap the spun wool onto the spindle post, the wool wheel is known as a discontinuous wheel. Note that the spokes of the wheel are larger near the edge where they meet the wheel. While this design offers an ornamental flair, it is actually functional and adds weight to the outer edge of the wheel, which increases the momentum of the wheel, making it easier for the spinner to spin. If the wheel rim were narrow there would be a groove centered on the rim to keep the driving cord from slipping off. A wider wheel rim had no need for the groove as there was sufficient room for the driving cord to stay in place.

 

It was during the Industrial Revolution that spinning wheels became obsolete as they were replaced by such modern machinery as the spinning jenny.

 

(A pictorial guide to American Spinning Wheels, by D. Pennington and M. Taylor, The Shaker Press, 1975)

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