Sally of Tinkering Times points us to this fascinating video taken during a tour of the Stott Park Victorian Bobbin Mill in Cumbria, England. It’s an amazing look in to how wooden bobbins (spools) were crafted for threads of all kinds for more than a hundred years. You get to hear how the bobbins are created from different types of wood through each step of the process. The steam-powered machinery is incredible, but even more interesting is hearing about how many bobbins workers turned out each day and how the workers boring holes in the spools would work up to their waists in wood shavings. You also hear how the size and shape of the spools indicated what kind of threads would be spun on them and how the phrase “Happy Hour” had a place in the bobbin mill workplace. The video is a must-watch.

  • Pat Briggs

    So interesting, I have some wooden spools, what to do with them.

  • Hazle

    Been there, and still have the bobbins we made that day. Good memories.

  • Amanda

    wow, my mum & I visited this old mill on our recent trip to the UK. It was fantastic, gorgeous surroundings & so informative. I have quite a collection of old bobbins & just loved learning about the history behind them. Be sure to stop at the hotel in Newby Bridge for lunch.

  • Bette Stern

    My great grandfather invented and patented the machine that winds thread on a modern spool (after spindles). He sold the patent to Coats an Clarks. This would have been at the end of the 19th century or beginning of the 20th century. My sister recently found the original patent application on line. Pretty cool.