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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 6 0 Browse Search
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 2 0 Browse Search
Knight's Mechanical Encyclopedia (ed. Knight) 2 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays 2 0 Browse Search
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is represented as cutting up a piece of cloth to make into garments, while two of her maidens are at work with their distaffs. The figure b is the more modern Italian. The distaff and spindle are referred to repeatedly in the Old Testament, and were the only known means of spinning in Egypt, Phoenicia, Arabia, India, Greece, and Rome. Distaff spinning and weaving are shown at Beni Hassan, in Egypt. The Greeks represented Minerva with a distaff as being the inventress of spinning. Catullus describes it clearly: — The loaded distaff in the left hand placed, With spongy coils of snow-white wool was graced; From these the right hand lengthening fibers drew, Which into thread 'neath nimble fingers grew. At intervals a gentle touch was given, By which the twirling whorl was onward driven. Then, when the sinking spindle reached the ground, The recent thread around its spire was wound; Until the clasp within its nipping cleft Held fast the newly finished length of weft. Dis-