Shaker Museum


String reel, Mount Lebanon, NY


Reel for twine (or string?) of wrought iron. Two standards are screwed to a piece of tongue and groove white pine flooring and braced diagonally, one at handle end, two at other end. These braces are also screwed to the recycled flooring base. The standards support an iron shaft and handle. The shaft is pierced at two locations near the center through which the shafts of two winders are inserted at right angles to each other. Attached to the ends of these shafts are iron semicircles that hold the twine being wound.


According to Jerry Grant, there are journal entries that refer to "stringing onions" in regard to onions being grown for seed production. Presumably the tops of such onions were supported between strings to keep the seed heads from toppling over, allowing the seed heads to rot. Thus, this device could also be classified as an agricultural tool.



Do you have information you'd like to share?


Shaker Museum updates records with information as it becomes available.

Copyright of this artwork Citation rules

Citation rules

Shaker Museum Reel. Accessed on February 5, 2023

We are dedicated to making the cultural heritage of the Shakers available to the public for free.