So I mentioned that I got a walking wheel at Christmas time, right? It wasn’t a Christmas gift exactly, so much as something that was given to me while I was visiting my family anyway. I’m actually rescuing it from my uncle’s basement. Apparently my family has this antique great wheel for generations*.
It has spent the last 15 or so years in my uncle’s basement and it’s probably been disassembled for 20 or 30 (maybe more) It certainly hasn’t been used except for decoration since the early 1900’s.
However we have these photos of it (assembled and with all it’s parts at least in 1960) from when my mom was a kid. Although in the second one you can see the drive wheel is already missing a spoke, and the head has been stashed somewhere, probably for safe keeping…
It’s still in really good shape, although it’s missing a few key bits (which may or may not turn up now that I’ve described them to my uncle) But the wheel head (above) and the drive wheel itself are in really good shape.
I believe that after a good wash with murphy’s oil soap, a good rubbing down with oil and some replacement parts I’ll be able to get it spinning again.
I’m very excited about this, in fact my whole family is! We’ve managed to figure out that its original owner was my great-great-great-great grandmother Nancy Minot
Her husband was a ship’s carpenter. We’ve learned that the Miner’s heads were apparently made by a company in Chesterfield NH and sold on their own. All this leads us to believe there’s a really good chance that my great-great-great-great grandfather made this wheel in the 1850’s for his new bride!
*a spinning wheel in my family, and it took HOW MANY years for someone to mention it to me??