Fri 19 Sep 2014
I am selling Frank Fell Spinning Wheel on eBay HERE.
My understanding is that in 1884, Fell began working for the Mayville Furniture Company, which manufactured spinning wheels for sale both locally and to a broader market. When the factory closed in 1904, Fell purchased its lathe and opened his own wood-turning shop in his Mayville, WI home. He built German-style wheels, although he was the son of a British immigrant cabinetmaker and not of German descent. Existing wheels are highly collectable and have a reputation for spinning extraordinarily well and this wheel is no exception. Most rare and unusual, while most have been lost, this wheel retains a bit of the original distaff. Spinners love these wheels and for good cause.
While this wheel has a beautiful patina and retains it’s original finish, there are signs of age and wear from use. This wheel spins like butter (See video in previous article.) I offer it without reservation and with more than a little reluctance. It disassembles and reassembles easily and is light making it the perfect candidate to take out for demonstrations and re-enactments. It is a single treadle, double drive, German Saxony style spinning wheel. The functional difference between a double drive and a Scotch tension (for example Ashford Saxony), is while finding the “sweet spot” on a double drive may take a bit of fiddling, but once found, you can spin without any further adjustments; you can even switch out bobbins and spin again without adjusting the tension. The Scotch tension needs to be adjusted throughout the process of filling the bobbin. While this may not be an issue for a novice spinner, it is an annoyance as one becomes more proficient and increases the rate at which they can fill a bobbin.
I have used this wheel when teaching new spinners and as an experienced spinner, I still find it a joy upon which to spin. I am selling as I am attempting to reclaim the living areas of my home; I have more than a dozen working wheels and several in the process of restoration. While I’m not convinced, my husband assures me that one cannot spin on more than one wheel at a time and therefore it makes no sense to have so many wheels. That said, this wheel needs to be re-homed where it will be used and appreciated.