COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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Spinning wheel

Before 1814 (death of maker)
Origin: America, Virginia, Albemarle County
Bench: OL: 47 1/2", OW: I 1/8 "; OH: approx. 59 1/4"; ODiam. drive wheel: 41 5/8 in.41
Walnut, ash (hickory?), iron/steel, copper alloy
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1988-502
"Walking"- type wheel with three turned legs. The rear, long leg has a parallel-sided lower section, surmounted by an elongated reel; above the rel it tapers into the tenon which fits into the bench. The front legs are of the same pattern, except the parallel section at the lower end of the leg is replaced by a slightly elongated ball foot.

The 2 5/8"-thick bench tapers slightly in plan from front to rear. Its long edges are decorated with planed beads, while the top top edges of the ends are chip carved. The spindle post is reed-turned; its lower end is pivoted by a pin passing through the bench so that the post can swing along the axis of the bench. The post position (and drive cord tension) are adjusted by a wooden screw whose upper end is captured by the post and whose lower, threaded portion screws into a threaded whole in a shorter, barrel-shaped, turned upright mounted to the rear of the spindle post. The post is surmounted by a slightly barrel-shaped piece into which the reel-and-ball-turned maidens (only one is present) are mounted. The remaining maiden is drilled to receive some sort of bearing for the spindle.

The reel-and-ball-turned wheel post is braced by a single turned support connecting the upper portion of the wheel post with the front of the bench. The wheel post terminates in a turned ball. The wheel itself has a turned hub with a brass bearing. Its fourteen spokes swell in size from the hub toward the wheel rim, and each has a turned elongated ball and reel near its outer end. The wheel rim is attached to the spoke ends with pegs. The rim is a single pice of bent hickory (ash?) joined with a scarf join secured with tacks. The outer surface of the rim is turned resulting in a bead along each edge and two tracks for the drive cord. Current spindle is iron with a turned, wooden, five-groove whorl.
Provenance:None known other than evidence of express company label glued to bench and the research findings detailed under "References."
Mark(s):Stamped on top and end of bench: "W.FITZ" Remains of paper label glued to end of bench: "A[?]MS EXP[?]/COMPANY/FROM/[C]HARLOTTESVILLE"