The Campbell Loom
This is the Campbell Loom on the day we picked her up.
I love this loom. It has been in the same family since it was built. The story as I remember it is as follows:
Mr. Campbell, a Scottish immigrant arrived in Pennsylvania in 1795 and shortly thereafter either himself or one of his children constructed the loom. Each successive generation had a weaver who used it, making repairs as needed over the years. The final weaver passed away in 1971 and the loom sat idle until we acquired it in 2010.
This loom is remarkable in that it is unusually wide for a loom of this time period.
It’s weaving width is almost 60 inches. The breast beam measures 73 inches from end to end and the bore staff warp beam 83.
Another remarkable feature is that it is a ” four – poster ” with a bore staff warp beam. Until this loom, all the ones I’d ever seen with a bore staff warp beam,were cantilever looms.
It was originally set up to have four treadles and was never modified as so many were, to just two treadles.
The foot rails were so badly decayed that they were not useuable, so we fashioned new rails for it. While they work, they also will be replaced. The mortises worked out okay in dimensions, but the rails don’t line up properly with the uprights or the crosspieces, so that will have to be corrected. And the cloth beam has inserts on both ends That are missing and also need to be replaced. And last, it needs a new bench.
I plan on making knitted heddles for this loom which are in keeping with the period and will eventually allow me to ” change gears ” when I want to weave a different pattern.
These pictures show the loom in various stages of assembly, including ” squaring ” it.
Here are two looms currently in the process of being set up at the weaving center.
As you can tell, they are similar, yet different.
The style is called ” four – poster ” . They very much resemble four poster beds. They both are machines for weaving and of course they both have warp beams and cloth beams, harnesses and treadles ( not positioned yet .)
The one on the left is unusually heavy and is a bit deeper, wider and taller than the one on the right. The one on the left utilizes braces that give it more stability. Both looms are held together with wooden pegs.
As is typical of looms of this type, they are mortise and tenon construction. Any nails found in them are later additions, not original to the looms.