Issue #122 – January 2024


• Samuel Thorp & Robert Webster Spinning Wheels
• A Surprising Great Wheel
• Nute Spinning-Wheel Factory
• Thoughts on Terminology


Highlights From This Issue

As we begin our thirty-first year, we learn about two English parlor wheels and a surprising great wheel. An old photograph shows us the factory where patented, Canadian tabletop spinning wheels were built. I contemplate terminology, and ways to analyze spinning wheels.

Samuel Thorp & Robert Webster Spinning Wheels

When Valerie and David Bryant saw a spinning wheel marked “Samuel Thorp of Abberley” on a Facebook page, they recognized the name. The owner, Lynne Keeton, shared pictures of the wheel. They knew that Thorp was apprenticed to a clockmaker, Robert Webster. They had studied one of his wheels. They describe the wheels and what they know about the men who constructed them.

A Surprising Great Wheel

With help from a friend, Brenda Page acquired an unusual great wheel. At first she thought that she had made a mistake buying it, but after some repairs and careful study of the structure, she was able to fix it. That it can be easily folded was an added bonus.

Nute Spinning-Wheel Factory

While checking some Canadian online sources, Todd Farrell found a picture of the factory where John Henry Nute’s patented, tabletop spinning wheels were built in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He reviews what we know about the patents and the Nute brothers. He also found a contemporary newspaper article that goes with the picture.

Thoughts on Terminology

In the earliest issues of SWS, I did a series of short articles I called “Terminology” in an effort to write as clearly as possible about spinning wheels. All these years later I wondered how one could put spinning wheels into a database. In the process I made an interesting discovery about two of my own wheels.