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Object Record

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Object ID # 1998.030.011ab
Object Name Wheel, Spinning
Title Upright Charkha Spinning Wheel
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Credit line Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection of Spinning Wheels & Related Equipment
Date 1960s?
Made India
Place of Origin India
Description Upright Charkha spinning wheel that collapses into a carrying case (suitcase charkha). It is predominately made of wood and cord, with some metal. Mrs. Kirk said that it is a large, thread-rimmed wheel that collapses when the wheel is folded into its case. It requires no multiplier wheel because of its size. It was No. 25 of the Kirk inventory, so there is a brass tag with this number affixed. It is not original to the piece, but it should be retained. It has a printed paper label (round) present inside that has a portrait of Gandhi and some text (not yet translated). This charkha has one metal spindle with it. The exterior of the case has a plain finish on the wood and has 8 reddish-brown cylindrical feet mounted on one side and 4 on the other. The exterior also has a plated plain-looking metal carrying handle screwed on. Charkhas spin cotton, which is in prepared cigar-shaped rolls called "punis." This is an upright charkha, which can be folded down into its compact, suitcase-like carrying case.
B. This wooden part is mostly like a dowel, but ends with a round-shaped end. It is made of bare wood and has no lettering or decoration. It is a detachable turning handle.

Makers mark Printed label (inside)
Provenance Dorothy W. Kirk told museum staff that this spinning wheel was made in India.

Provenance unknown.

Collected by Dorothy and Harry Kirk, of Owen Sound, Grey County, who lived in Grey County and Toronto during their lifetimes, and who had family roots in Grey County. They purchased (sometime internationally) and restored many old and contemporary spinning wheels and related equipment, often purchasing them from Ontario antique stores. Mrs. Kirk was a master spinner / weaver.
Collection Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection
Material Wood/Metal/Cord/Finish/Paper/Ink/Glue
Dimensions H-48.5 W-104 L-26 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Kirk, Dorothy
Function Designed for portability, this collapsible charkha spinning wheel would be opened up on the ground, and the spinner would sit in front of it. His right hand would be used to turn the drive wheel, using the detachable wooden handle. This type of spinning wheel was designed for spinning cotton fibre. The spinner would have prepared cigar-shaped rolls of cotton, called "punis" to work with.