Offered here is a 19th Century yarn winder. These winders were extremely useful in late 1800s-early 1900s, making yarn winding a bit less tedious. Written on the bottom in pencil (it was a bit difficult to make out the complete writing) is: This reel is the property of J. G. Elliot, 459 Horner St., Elmira, NY and then there is something, fields. NY appears again, but we just can't make out the rest. It could be something fields, NY. We're still trying to find out more about this wonderful yarn winder painted in historical blue paint. The winder was used so much that the paint is worn smooth in places. It has a wonderful patina. I can't say enough about the beauty of this winder so I will tell you about the size and other features. It stands 3' 10" tall on tri-pod legs; the wheel has 4 arms, each measuring 12" long, at each end is a 1 ¼" round by 7" long dowel. The yarn was wound over and around these wooden dowels. The wheel still turns freely with an occasional squeak that I'm sure existed even back then. I love it. I imagine hearing this coming from the upstairs attic where Abigail turned the yarn into skeins. The center shaft houses the wooden gear mechanism that operates the wheel. A wood slat runs up the side of the shaft, at the top it narrows and becomes thin and flat. As the gears turned they engaged with the tip of the slat which would click. As many times as it clicked, it would count the number of yards. The tip has since worn down and chipped off so there is no longer the clicking sound. An indication that this winder did not sit idle in a corner collecting dust. Also on the side panel are dabs of aged white paint. I'm assuming where some one kept count of either the skeins turned or the number of clicks. I am only guessing, but I like the story. I figure it is probable as I'm sure we have all penciled in knitting books and such, keeping track of rows and stitches. This winder was hand operated. I've seen a few that have a handle to turn the wheel. This one appears not to have had one. I've looked closely and can find no indication of a spot where one may have been attached. The skein winder is completely put together with wood pegs and dowels. All this considered it is still sturdy and does not wobble. The edges are decoratively toothed. It was considered that the piece may be Tennessee Shaker, but because of the decorative edge (Shaker style was plain and without decoration) we have decided that it is not. It's a great piece of history. Sales tax must be collected for buyers living in or picking up in New York State. Local tax rate applies.
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