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Issue: #39 - January 2003

In this issue we again travel to India, England, and Connecticut.

Gandhian Book Charkha

by Peter Teal

Peter Teal of Taunton, England, shares more of his adventures from his time in India. He explains the technical and design aspects of the book charkha spinning wheels that Mahatma Gandhi made famous.

All photographs by Peter Teal

Ashram Movement Spinner
Member of the Ashram movement spinning after prayers at Gandhi Bhawan in Lucknow

Another Ashram Movement Spinner
Another member of the Ashram movement spinning on a larger charkha

Charkha Ready to Spin
Charkha open and ready for use

Detail of Charkha Spindle Tip
Detail of downward-sloping spindle angle

Charkha Drive Wheels
Detail of charkha drive unit in top half of box

Charkha Spindles
Detail of spindles, spindle support, and reeling device in lower half of box

Charkha Reeling Device
Charkha reeling device in use


Elsie Davenport's Spinning Wheel
by Peter Teal

When Peter had the opportunity to acquire a spinning wheel that had belonged to Elsie Davenport, the author of Your Handspinning, he jumped at it.

All photographs by Peter Teal

Elsie Davenport Wheel
Elsie Davenport's spinning wheel

Davenport Wheel Maker's Mark
Detail of Davenport wheel maker's mark

Davenport Wheel Nameplate
Davenport wheel brass plate commissioned by Peter Teal


The Research
by Florence Feldman-Wood

In May 2001 I received a research grant from the Early American Industries Association. Their goal is to encourage the study of obsolete preindustrial tools. I wanted to expand my study of Solomon Plant, spinning wheel maker of Stratford, CT. I describe what I learned about doing research, especially working with primary documents.


Solomon Plant and His Customers
by Florence Feldman-Wood

Here I present the results of my quest to find the women who were spinning on Solomon Plant's double-flyer wheels.

Silas Burton Account Book
William Edwards' entry in Silas Burton's account book

Stratford CT Early Map
From 1824 "A Plan of Stratford"


The Spinning Wheel That Went to Harvard
by Florence Feldman-Wood

In a related article I recount my adventure taking a Solomon Plant double-flyer spinning wheel to a class given by the historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich at Harvard University.

Solomon Plant Double Flyer Wheel
From the collection of Florence Feldman-Wood


Index to Issues #1 to #38

The Index has grown too big to be included in Issue #39. Pat and David Bownas of Poughkeepsie, NY, have once again done a great job updating it. If you would like a free copy of the Index, send me an e-mail at ffw@netway.com, and I will send you a snail mail copy.

You may also send a SASE (37 cents postage, marked "Index") to
The Spinning Wheel Sleuth
PO Box 422
Andover, MA 01810

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2003 The Spinning Wheel Sleuth