A brief history:
The Industrial Revolution (1790's - 1860's) was an important time in America's history. The Revolution brought about many changes in the labor and textile industries. On average women worked a 72-hour week with few breaks. The mill itself was a dangerous place to work with shuttles flying off looms, and a constant humid, 100-degree climate. In response to the poor working conditions, the women of the mills organized America's first labor strikes and formed the first labor unions.
Bobbins and the machinery they ran on were some of the greatest inventions of the Victorian Era. Developed as a way to manage heaps of thread, bobbins revolutionized textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. Many textile mills had their own machine shops and their own favorite shape of bobbin which accounts for their varied designs. Traditional wooden bobbins have been retired from most current day manufacturing. Modern economics does not favor the use of wooden bobbins since a large degree of handwork is involved in making them and they are not well suited to synthetic fibers and high-speed machinery.