Skein Winders – from Leonardo to Plastics

March, 2013 - Susan Webster

Medieval References

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Stained glass window

Leonardo copies

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19th Century Heyday

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Couldn’t actually find many images for the 18th and 19th centuries, despite the obviously widespread use of skein winders, and the examples I have here to day.  Didn’t seem to capture the imagination the way they did in earlier centuries.

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20th Century Descent

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John Martin & Co, Rundle Mall, Adelaide

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CC 901 – We’re going in the opposite direction here with this Australian winder –  from the elegance of the previous examples to this uber-utilitarian example.  Originally sold during the depression in the major department store, John Martin’s, of Australia’s third largest city, Adelaide.

Left shot is a close-up to show the store’s name proudly displayed on what appears to be a solder tin with wire spokes inserted.  The right hand shot shows the winder upside down to get a look at the clamp, again made of a thick wire twisted to form a screw mechanism.

Although I haven’t shown it here, there is a complimentary ball winder to go with this skein winder, also made of rickety tin, and with the company’s name on it.

Types – the Cone

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Types – the Squirrel Cage

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Types – the Classic Swift

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