Here she is. My vintage Made Well Drum Carder from Sifton, Manitoba, Canada that I bought from a nice person on Ebay who had purchased it from an antique dealer in Canada. The antique dealer told them that it had been in Newfoundland, and was found in a old barn. I asked around on Ravelry to see if any one has information concerning this beauty. Luckily, my prayers were answered and here's what I learned about it's spinning wheels and such:
Quoted from info I have..Selected Canadian Spinning Wheels in Perspective by Judith Buxton-Keenlyside, 1980:
“The company was started during the depression by John Weselowski, it later became the Make-Well Manufacturing Company and was famous for it hand-operated drum carders as well as it’s wheels. Several of the stylistic features of this wheel were borrowed from the traditional Ukrainian wheels. Wheel and Flyer spindle are arranged vertically. The inner maiden bearing is a hole drilled in the wooden upright. Tensioning is accomplished by raising or lowering a tablet on the outer maiden. Hallmarks of the Spin-Well wheel include a solid drive wheel, pre-cast metal flyer, treadle-system using a fixed treadle bar, footman placement in front of the wheel and provision for extra bobbins.”
Here is a quote from a letter sent to my friend by Florence Feldman-Wood The Spinning Wheel Sleuth where she talks about info on this wheel from a man in Indiana who was in the business of repairing all types of spinning wheels, He states to her:
“These wheels were made in the 60’s and 70’d during the rebirth of the handspinning and weaving crafts. They are well built wheels made of maple and solid core maple plywood. At 27.00 they were prices well below the better New Zealand wheels which sold for 80 to 100 at the time I’ve had two in maple and one in walnut. Paula Simmons used their wheels.”
I also learned from the lady on Ravelry that Mr. Duncan on Duncan Drum Carder told her that this drum carder was the model for for Paula Simmon’s first husband who designed her drum carders as known as Patrick Green's Drum Carders. When you compare the two styles, you can see that they are very similar.
Now, I have not received my drum carding cloth, yet, from Howard Brush Company. As you can see, it is layered wooden wheels that have been glued together, very good construction. If you plan on restoring a carder, like I have, I found this to be the least costly approach. But, I warn you. it will be over $100 to replace worn cloth on both wheels, but compared to $350-$1600, it a steal. I had to replace the belt, as with most vintage carders. I found a lawn mower belt than was nearly the exact size I needed. I simple added a wooden cover to the large drum wheel, and it now works perfectly.
Now, a little disclaimer of sorts, I could be completely wrong, and all the information I have collected be false. I haven't found online sources to support these stories expect what I have been told from numerous people. So, if something here is completely and utterly false, let me know and I can change it. This blog is meant to inform others of the treasures they may also have hidden in their sheds and it's history.
ETA 12/20/2010: Pics of the relatively finished carder with new carding cloth and licker support blocks. Not pretty, but works like a dream.