A Tribute to Bill and Vicky Ralph
Bill and Vicky came to Orwell in 1972 from New York City and Long Island. The Home Textile Tool Museum was a dream they shared through many years of collecting the finest antique tools and artifacts connected with spinning, weaving, woodworking and other 18th & 19th century technologies. Bill and Vicky wished to share these artifacts with others.
Along with the antiques came vast knowledge. Bill's desire to investigate, research and analyze every facet of each artifact had grown into a business of restoring antique spinning wheels. Bill ultimately restored over 1000 wheels, of which 686 are documented.
With the help of a friend, Dr. Michael Holcomb, the dream was transformed into reality when the Home Textile Tool Museum was incorporated as a non-profit organization in May 1999. Most of Bill and Vicky's collection was given to the museum.
Unfortunately Bill passed away in September 2001 and Vicky in May 2002. But with the help of their many friends, neighbors, and associates, the museum has continued to thrive.