Florence Feldman-Wood has been a spinner and weaver for more than 40 years. She has been publishing the quarterly newsletter, The Spinning Wheel Sleuth, A Newsletter about Spinning Wheels and Related Tools, since 1993 and the annual Hand Looms Supplement since 1998. Her favorite area of research is patented moving-spindle wheels.

Her articles have appeared in other publications such as Spin-Off and Early American Life. She has lectured at many conferences, as well as to many spinning and weaving guilds.

Florence offers the following lectures about spinning wheels and looms. Contact her for information on fees and scheduling.

Every Loom Has a Story

In the course of more than eighteen Hand Looms Supplements a large number of contributors wrote about the wide variety of looms that fascinate them. Some will be presented here. They include: early 19th century barn-frame looms reconstructed in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and England; looms of immigrant groups from Scandinavia, Ukraine, and Slovakia; the unlikely origins of Structo and LeClerc looms and the histories of the Eureka, Union, and Deen loom companies. Looms that belonged to famous weavers will be shown, along with early 20th century looms designed by and for women, and looms from the Depression. Collections of looms in schools and studios in Ohio, Rhode Island, California, Latvia, India, and Cambodia, and small band looms from Norway, England, and the United States will be presented. Some of the related tools will be included.

In Search of Moving-Spindle Spinning Wheels

Join the Quest! Help us find more moving-spindle spinning wheels! Learn to identify pendulum wheels, lever-action wheels, and track wheels. These are just a few variations of the moving- spindle wheels American and Canadian inventors devised during the mid-19th century. Their aim was to make handspinning more efficient and easier for the handspinner. Diagrams will illustrate how these complex wheels functioned. Learn about the patent models of spinning wheels in the Smithsonian. Are there some strange wooden objects lurking in the store room   of your local historical society, or in an attic? This lecture will give you the clues to solve the mystery of these pieces. You, in turn, can help us locate, and trace the spread of these wheels.

Yankee Ingenuity—Two-Handed Spinning Wheels and More

Around 1800 spinning wheel makers in New York and Connecticut developed novel spinning wheel designs in hopes of increasing a handspinner’s productivity. These included double-flyer spinning wheels, chair-frame wheels with two treadles and two wheels, and the ‘accelerating wheel head’ for great wheels. Learn to identify the different styles of these unusual wheels. Find out what is known about the men who built them, the Sanfords of Newtown, CT, Solomon Plant, Joel Farnham, and Joshua Goldsmith, as well as Amos Miner inventor of the “Miner’s accelerating wheel head.” Help locate more of these wheels.