Pennsylvania Half-Sized Wool Wheel

For the first post of the New Year, we have one of the first new wheels of the New Year. This was a complete surprise. I had gone to Pennsylvania to pick up a Canadian Production Wheel, and the antique store had this lovely tucked away in a corner.

This great wheel has a lot to recommend it, but most of all its size.

Here she is next to the Vezina CPW I was picking up. Her drive wheel is 31 and 1/2 inches in diameter, similar to some other CPWs I’ve had. The Vezina has a 27″ wheel.

This little great wheel was missing a few bits, her maidens and spindle, but I believe I can find replacements among my box of spare parts. She really has some lovely turnings, which is unusual in a great wheel, and I love her tensioning device with the diamond-shaped nut!

She has shapely legs:

A very curvacious upright post with an extra wide drive wheel:

Not sure if this is the maker’s mark or if she is marked with her former owner’s initials:

She is a sturdy wheel with some minimal insect damage to the under-the-table end of her upright post. Pennington & Taylor lists two similar wheels as a child’s wool wheel and both examples come from the same region in Pennsylvania as where this was found. Additionally, some full size wheels from the region have similar turnings and bandings so I’m guessing she did not stray far from her place of origin.








8 Responses to Pennsylvania Half-Sized Wool Wheel

  1. riverrim says:

    Wow! This wheel looks so much like the one in Spinning Wheel Sleuth Issue #73!

    See the article: Constructing a Child’s Great Wheel
    and note the maker– ED Rowe! You may want to get in touch with him!

  2. I wish I knew what you know. Can you point me towards a book that would help me educate mytself?

    I want to research spinning wheels, I want to buy one, but which one? From where? Old or new? I have no spare spinning wheel parts on hand so perhaps a modern, used wheel.

  3. All good questions and perhaps fodder for a blog post! I have beens spinning for about 15 years and started on the typical Ashford wheel. I worked up from there. It has been about the last 3 or 4 years that I got into restoring wheels. If you want to learn more about antique wheels, join and look for the Antique Spinning Wheel forum. You will soak up lots of wheel knowledge there. There are a few good books on wheels, one by Joan Cummer which is out of print and a newer one by Pennington & Taylor that is readily available on Ebay and Amazon. For a newer wheel and to learn spinning technique, look to see if you have a spinning or fiber arts guild locally. There are also tons of YouTube videos on how to spin; wish these were around when I started out. Watch for a longer blog post where I can mull over some of your questions a bit longer!

  4. Thanks Kat!

    I have had a look at the book, joined the Raverly website and I have the word Ashford written down on my note pad. I will keep a watch on your site for more posts on picking a wheel.

  5. Caryn says:

    Hello, I saw your post on the Daneker wheel and am concerned about a wheel I believe is antique, but someone told me it looks like a Daneker. There is a maker’s mark of “D.Reiner” who was researched and looks like is David Reiner, a wheel maker in the late 1700s early 1800s in PA. Could I email you photos of my wheel? My email is Thank you!

  6. Daneker’s were made to replicate the typical American Saxony wheel. If your’s is marked D. Reiner, it is NOT a Daneker, which typically is marked as such. Always glad to look at wheel photos, so send them along! woolmerchantsdaughter (at)

  7. Kathy says:

    I’ve been researching wheels and came across you’re informative blog. I saw your pics of the PA half sized wool wheel which I believe I might also have one. You are the expert. It was my great, great, great grandmothers wheel of which I even have some of the fabric left to me made from my wheel,ca. 1850. I have two different types of fabric made from this wheel! I am missing the”spinner”? I’d like to send a picture for you to examine her. I also have a picture of my great,great, great grandmother!

  8. Hi, Kathy! Well, I appreciate the vote of confidence but I learn something every day and I know wheel fanatics who know more than I! But I’ll take the compliment! Lucky you, having not only the wheel but the history to go along! I would love to see photos, both of the wheel and of ggg gran’ma! What part of the country are both from?

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