Rocker Beater Loom Site  

Welcome to the Rocker Beater Loom educational website. The rocker beater loom is a rare type of Early American handloom. There is very little information available on this style of loom, and the object of this website is to make what is known more available. The major source of information is The Rocker Beater Loom: A new case for an early form of standing beater loom, a master's thesis approved by Ohio University in 1998. The stated purposes of the thesis were:

A historical survey of loom development was conducted and twenty looms were examined in accordance with the purpose of the study. Findings concluded the style to be an unusual form of Early American handcrafted loom equipped with an atypical beater.  The beater operates from a standing (rather than hanging) position and is characterized by wooden rockers that rest on the base of the loom and facilitate the beating action.  Findings, while not conclusive, indicate the style was an Appalachian design developed shortly after the American Revolution, and that it was propagated by the western expansion movement that followed that war.

About the Author

Phyllis Dean has had a lifetime interest in textiles and clothing. It started in childhood when she received a mannequin doll as a gift and began making doll clothes. This interest grew as she learned to weave on her great-grandmother's old rocker beater loom. She acquired the loom as an adult, and used it as the subject of a master's thesis. The research proved challenging, because of the rarity of the loom style and the lack of references to it in loom literature.

In an extensive search for information, she was compelled to search out other loom owners and consult numerous museums, out-of-print resources, loom authorities, and weaving guilds in the United States and abroad.

The thesis was published in 1998, despite a number of unanswered questions.  The search for conclusive evidence concerning the origin of the style is an ongoing project, so anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Ms. Dean at phyllis.d.dean@gmail.com

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Last Updated on April 1, 2014

Links to Web Site Sections:
Thumbnail Sketch of the Subject
Loom Photo Album
Original and Continuing Research
Location of Looms
The Thesis
Contact Information

 Rocker Beater Loom, Standing Beater Loom, Loom, Early American Loom, Floor Loom, Treadle Loom, Weaving Loom, Virginia Loom.