A few weeks ago, I was just perusing Craigslist, for antique spinning wheels, not that I need one, have room for one, or even was particularly serious about having one. Just looking. I came across one that looked really nice. Photos on craigslist are never super, but from what I could tell, all the parts were there. Cool. I just filed it away, thought “someday I should get one of those” and continued my life.
Then last Saturday, after a glass of wine, I was thinking “man, that was a pretty wheel. I’d really like a CPW (Canadian Production Wheel). I wonder if it’s still for sale?” I looked at it again, decided to call the guy the next day, and went to bed. I woke up still wanting it, so I tried to wait a reasonable amount of time (calling people at 9 am on a Sunday is probably not polite), and then on a total whim, which is SO not like me, I drove an hour up to New Hampshire to see it, armed with $250 in cash, and came home with a wheel. Only it doesn’t fit in my home, so I continued on to my parents house, where it is currently residing.
It’s an antique Philias Cadorette wheel, made in Quebec sometime around 1920, and the wear marks on the treadles and the whorls show it was used for a while before it became a decoration. But it’s all there, spins great, I got a drive band on it last night and did a little spinning. I’ve never used a double drive, so it wasn’t perfect, but that’s more me than the wheel. It’s so amazing how old stuff, there is equal attention to making it work and making it pretty. Look at that cast iron treadle! The turned spokes! 90 years later, with little love in between, the wheel is true, and you can string it up and make it go, and it’s truly a beautiful machine. It’s pretty dirty and the finish could use some love, so that’s my summer project with my Dad, we’ll get her all prettied up and she’ll look amazing. I cannot wait. She called to me. I’m not the kind of person who drives all over the planet and goes to the ATM on a Sunday morning like that, it was meant to be.