It appears that I am "the keeper of
the spools." People have recently given me old boxes of wooden thread spools. Not that I know what to do with them, but they are just too good to throw away! (I know, I'm a pack-rat!)
I've recently received two batches. The photo above shows the tiniest spools. I placed an ordinary spool of thread with them to show the difference in size. They were little spools of silk thread, only ten yards in length. And they were in this box (below). I honestly do not know if this box contained those actual spools, but it's how I received them.
I needed to remove all the thread from the spools, as old thread just doesn't cut it after all these years. So I ended up with a lovely mixture of thread tangles.
These are the larger spools, mostly cottons, a few silks. It was interesting to notice the prices on the spools--stamped right onto the wood. 30 cents, 19 cents, and the lowest I saw was 15 cents (for 125 yards of size 50 thread). Imagine buying a spool of thread for that amount today!
Most of the threads proudly boasted that they were "fast to boiling" or "boilfast."