OK, I googled the label on this object. This is an accelerating wheel head in a spinning wheel! The inventor is Amos Miner in the mid 1800s.
Further googling brought me to this
page in the Old Sturbridge Village Online Collection. It’s neat to see how it did work!
Looking through the other images, I found this one. It’s not quite the same as my mystery object one, but there is a strong resemblance! It is a bat type of spinning wheel head.
So not weaving but spinning. I am pleased!