‘The original Nilus Leclerc workhorse is of 4 shaft counterbalance construction and is perfect for rugweavers as well as any weaver that wishes the stability of a sturdy, rigid frame loom. Because it utilizes a fixed frame design the Mira has a larger footprint than looms with a folding back beam. This longer depth, solid hardwood construction, and square frame gives the loom stability when harder beating is required (ie. rug weaving). The loom is the perfect choice for high volume applications. A flying shuttle beater can be added to speed up production. The counterbalance shed is wide and clean and the heavy duty cloth beam ratchet mechanism and warp beam friction brake enable the weaver to put a high tension on the warp. Both the breast beams and the cloth beam can be easily removed in seconds and optional rakes can be added to the warp beam to turn it into a sectional warp beam.’
If you have any Caucasian genetics then those ancestors came from some other place; some came earlier than others. In the early 1900’s the Canadian government was eager to have the prairie opened to agriculture. They appealed to American farmers to do this. Ten’s of thousands found a new home as Canadians.
Today I found the original documents to this loom, complete with a mailing address. And by spending a few minutes on the internet I was able to find out that this loom was a part of the story of that migration in the early 1900’s. By simply typing names, towns, and dates into Google search I was able to find this: Of the original owners of the loom, he was born in southeast Minnesota in 1901; she was born in south central Minnesota in 1904. These two were married in Canada in 1928, at what would be home to them and their three children. I’d assume that they had come to this region of Saskatchewan with their respective families as dependents, since her maiden name is well represented in that region. They had three children born in the early 1930’s. Then in 1957 they bought this loom. It would have been at the time when their children had left home. How long they had it I cannot tell. But I do know that they paid $117.75 for it brand new since it has flat heddles. How it ended up in northern Saskatchewan with its last owner unable to tell me any of its history I was not able to find out. But that the machine was well-used is certain, and then that it was stored in a place where it was exposed to higher humidity and even some water damage is evident on its metal work and a couple of its lower wooden members. I even know the name of the weaving club down there. And the last thing I know about it is that it now it resides in northern Manitoba and that I hope to get a couple of decades more of work out of it… :)