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Last Week’s Reveal: This Great, or Walking Wheel, was recently donated to the Faulkner County Museum. Ree Walker, president of the Faulkner County Historical Society, proved very adept at demonstrating how it was used at the recent museum open house.

Wheels were a common feature in many homes at one time and some of these still exist, displayed in various homes as antiques. Joe Heird wrote in this week that he had a similar one in his living room that appeared to be complete and operational.

In times past, clothing was not found ready-made at the store. Every aspect of garment production required individual effort—from the planting of the cotton to the harvesting and cleaning of the fibers to the spinning, weaving and sewing of the fabric. The whole process was labor intensive and time-consuming and so most people did not own very many clothes.

The great wheel, which was usually over five feet in height, was an earlier type of spinning wheel. It was usually used to spin short-stable fibers – cotton or wool. The large drive wheel turned the much smaller spindle assembly, with the spindle revolving many times for each turn of the drive wheel. The fiber was held in the left hand and the wheel slowly turned with the right.

To see more Faulkner County artifacts, visit the museum, its Facebook page or its website There are also special events, like the Annual Museum Holiday Open House, when skilled craftsmen demonstrate how these were used. Help preserve our county’s history with your tax-deductible donation.

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