Spindlework. The frieze, which is the decorative trim beneath the cornice on this porch, the side brackets, which attach the frieze to the porch posts, and the pendants, the dropped pieces between frieze and side brackets, are all examples of spindlework. Like many 19th Century houses in Indianapolis, this Folk Victorian residence in the 700 block of Noble Street is dressed up with spindlework porch details.

So-named because it resembled wooden thread spindles, today we sometimes mistakenly think that spindlework was handmade. In reality it was mass-produced. A carpenter/builder could even order his (or rarely, her) spindlework items from one of any number of mail order catalogs and have it delivered by train to the nearest train station. Lumberyards and general stores might have also sold spindlework in the 19th Century.  The spindlework on this house appears to be in like-new condition and may be a 20th Century replacement but, if so, it is in keeping with the style and period of the house.


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