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Reverend William Weiler wrote about his father’s loom and his mother’s “spinning outfit” which he brought back from Germany in 1908 when he visited home. Granddaughter Eleanor Wagner kept it and then gave it to me.

My father learned the trade of a linen weaver, but switched over to farming after the machine looms were invented. I well remember the big loom he had in their bedroom and how he plied his trade it times in weaving linen for local customers. What interested me as a boy was that he could make the shuttle fly back and forth so fast that I could hardly see it, like “a blue streak.” Here I could tell you a long story about raising of flax and the way it was worked up into linen, mostly by hand with rather primitive tools.

If Grandma [his wife Addie] had been as much interested in my mother’s spinning outfit as I was, which I brought along from Germany the year that Paul was born and is now well over 100 years old, we could have it on exhibition in our living room as a rare antique. But as it was just a “dustgatherer” to grandma she stuck it away somewhere in the attic. As it makes me feel bad every time I think of it I’m trying to forget it. Many a winter day and winter night my mother would run her spinning outfit. [Rev. William Weiler, 1955 in letter to granddaughter Elly]

DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY HEIRLOOM? Please take photos of it and write up a description/history. Attach that information to the item (with a string or other nondestructive method).

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