1. The older wheel, (the one with alternating shorter spokes) was inherited by my mom (just shy of 80 years old now) from her great aunt back in Norway, the one for whom she was named. I grew up with this wheel in our house, displayed as an antique, only for decorative purposes in the front hallway just as you came in the front door. I forgot to ask, but I'm curious now, just exactly how this wheel was transported all the way from Norway, and when.
Do you suppose her great aunt (my great, great, aunt?), who never married, could truly have been considered a "spinster"?
One time when my Bestemor ("Grandmother", my mom's mom) was visiting from Norway she got the wheel up and running. I can still picture her, quite clearly, sitting there in the hallway carding the wool, peddling the wheel, and spinning. The yarn on there (bottom right pic) is still the same she spun then, now 30+ years ago.
2. The newer wheel was just given to me by my aunt (my mom's sister) who also came to Seattle from Norway in the 1950's. According to my uncle, who dropped the wheel off for me last week, it was made by an older gentleman in Ballard (Seattle). He'd bought it for my aunt and she has hardly used it. He estimated that that was about 30 years ago or so, as well. This is the wheel I brought back home here with me. It barely needs any work done to it, just a good oiling, a little neatsfoot oil on the leather bearings, a drive band, and either a few new bobbins, or some repair work done to a couple of them (apparently it's seen a lot of play by kids over the years).
Once I get this one up and rolling, I'm thinking I'm going to have to give the older one a spin sometime, too. If I don't claim that one, too, it will likely end up in the collection of the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle someday, along with a bunch of other family heirlooms, some of which are already there.
So much for my dream wheel. It's time to settle in and be grateful for these beauties. Might need to finally get around to building that addition onto the house, though.