Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oxen-powered Carding Mill, a rare view of bygone era

The American Sheep Industry Newsletter this week included the above title: Oxen-powered Carding Mill, a rare view of bygone era It is reprinted from

"The oxen-powered New Salem carding mill is all set to operate once again for the visitors who want to get a rare glimpse of how mills functioned before industrialization took over. President Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site is a reconstruction of a carding mill that existed in 1830s, where Abraham Lincoln lived for six years. This site is now managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Spectators can take a look of this once-in-a-lifetime event on only three Saturdays, June 28, July 5 and July 19. The whole ambience will take the visitors back in history. The demonstrators will be present at the site to explain the entire process of how raw wool was transformed into usable fiber. The spectators will be able to watch oxen walking on a large wheel to power a huge wooden shaft, which in turn helps the carding mill and the double carder machine inside to move. As sheared wool is pushed into the machine, a series of carding rollers straighten out the fibers. After this process, wool can be spun and woven into garment.
New Salem is the only functioning oxen-powered mill in the United States and one of the three in the world."

Already one opportunity to see this is past and I don't think I can make either of the other two dates but thought anyone in the area interested in fiber would love to know about this.

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