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Issue #59 - January 2008

We are starting our 15th year. Thanks to our contributors we have compiled a vast quantity of information about spinning wheels and related tools. But there is still much to learn. This issue focuses on Canadian spinning wheels and wheel makers. We will compare several wheels made by a well-known family of wheel makers, discover a strange example of a moving-spindle wheel, and meet a contemporary Canadian wheel maker. We will also find that there are new ways to search for wheel makers on the Internet.

The Young Family of Spinning-Wheel Builders
by David Maxwell

David Maxwell lives in Nova Scotia not far from the homestead and workshop of the Young family of spinning-wheel makers. He compares examples made by different family members and tells about their workshop that still stands.

All Three Young Wheels
l. to r: F. YOUNG, J. YOUNG, I. YOUNG

S. Young Wheel
S. YOUNG Wheel

Young Family Workshop
Young Family Workshop

Close-up of Mother-of-All Support
Close-up of Mother-of-all Support


The Eclipse Spinner
by Grant Betzner

When he was asked to repair a strange moving-spindle wheel called the Eclipse Spinner, Grant Betzner was intrigued. He had chance to acquire one and obtained the dimensions of a third one in a museum in Nova Scotia. He tells us what he learned when he studied them.

Eclipse Spinner, collection of Grant Betzner
Eclipse Spinner
Collection of Grant Betzner


Grant Betzner, Spinning-Wheel Collector

While in Ontario last June I visited Grant and now tell about his unusual wheel collection.

Canadian moving-spindle wheels, collection of Grant Betzner
Canadian Moving-Spindle Wheels
Collection of Grant Betzner


W. J. Robidoux, Spinning-Wheel Maker,
My Robidoux Spinning Wheels

by Donna Lonergan

Donna Lonergan has a number of spinning wheels made by W. J. Robidoux of Cornwall, ON, who has been building spinning wheels for the last 50 years. She reports on her interview with him and describes her collection of his spinning wheels.

Spinning Wheels mad by W. J. Robidoux, collection of Donna Lonergan
Spinning Wheels Made by W. J. Robidoux
Collection of Donna Lonergan


New Ways to Research Spinning Wheels and Their Makers
by Marsha Reeder

Marsha Reeder began by searching for wheel makers in the mid-Atlantic states. But when she discovered new search engines and databases, she just kept on searching. She describes these new Internet tools and the best way to use them.


Albert Graves, A Canadian Wheel Maker
by Marion Satchwill

An inquiry about an incomplete pendulum wheel was the beginning of research into the wheel maker Albert Graves of Mount Brydges, ON. Marion Satchwill lives near there and was willing to check locally for information.

Incomplete Pendulum-wheel maked A. GRAVES
Incomplete Pendulum Wheel Marked A. GRAVES


Another Canadian Wheel-Head Maker

Nora Goring has two accelerating wheel heads labeled with the name Robert Brough of Gananoque, ON. This led to a comparison with a wheel head marked with the name Fred Pierce from New Hampshire and one marked A. Graves.

Wheel Head marked Robert Brough, Gananoque, C.W.
Wheel Head marked Robert Brough, Gananoque, C.W.

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