Spinning Wheel

Spinning Wheel - Body

Spinning Wheel

A device used to transform wool into thread

Large wooden spinning wheel with spokes attached to one end of a simple bench-like structure with a pulley device attached to the other end.

Unrecorded artist (American), Spinning wheel, early 18th century, wood and paint. Gift of Jonathan and Karin Fielding, 2016.25.145

  • Here is a spinning wheel from early 18th-century America. This would have been used to spin wool and turn it into individual strands of fiber that could be used to make different textiles.
  • How do you think the invention of the spinning wheel impacted society?
  • Do you think it would be easy or difficult to use this spinning wheel? What makes you think that?
  • This spinning wheel was most likely used to spin wool. However, it is similar to spinning wheels used for flax. If you are interested in learning how the plant flax was turned into yarn with the aid of a spinning wheel, check out this Verso article.


Who do you think would have used this spinning wheel? Write a short story about this person. Who were they? What did they make with the thread they spun? What did they think about while using the spinning wheel?