The Mill is of great importance because it supplied one of man's the
basic needs of life, that of food. We need to save the best examples of
each phase in the history and development of flour milling for the education
of future generations. For example, we need mills of the pre-Evans technology;
Oliver Evans automated flour mills; new process mills, roller mills, and
to some extent feed mills. This would allow the interested observer to clearly
understand the extraordinary impact that Oliver Evans' inventions, and its
impact on agriculture and the industrial revolution. The celebrated American,
Oliver Evans, who is considered by many to be the first thoroughgoing plant
engineer who brought us into the Industrial Revolution, and the modern industrial
Mills illustrates the tremendous advance in the use of natural power, and
the gradual evolution of mechanical engineering. The marvelous mills freed
our ancestors from manual labor. The millers and millwrights because of
Oliver Evans discovered principles of practical science to which we owe
the leisure time that we take for granted, so their had time to improve
their knowledge of the craft in the art of milling.
The ideal would be to have examples of each phase in the history lined up
one after another, so visitors could walk from one building into another
as a time traveler, but this is unlikely to happen. It is an interesting
story to interpret Oliver Evans inventions, through their addition into
the existing state of the art machinery, and what impact it had on milling
technology. We are letting the opportunity to preserve the most complete
examples of the different milling systems that are becoming extinct.
Theodore R. Hazen, Jr.,
A Midget Marvel Mill (above), is a Self-Contained Roller Mill, that was
built by the Anglo-American Mill Company, Owensboro, Kentucky. The Midget
Marvel Mill was invented and designed by an English milling engineer, A.
B. Tattersall, of London, England. Mr. Tattersall had a wonderful way of
writing books advertising his mills, such as "The Story of a Wonderful
Mill." Once he traveled to Russia to deliver one of his mills that
became the source for another booklet. The Anglo-American Mill Company at
one time claimed to be the largest flour milling machinery company in the
world. During World War Two, the company retooled to make tanks for the
war, but never returned the business afterwards.
"The Story of a Wonderful Flour Mill: Midget Marvel," originally
published by the Anglo-American Mill Co., Owensboro, KY, 1916. The Story
of a Wonderful Flour Mill presents a short history of the Anglo-American
Mill Co., accompanied with photos of its founders and executives. There
are also many excellent pictures of Anglo-American Mill Corporations's manufacturing
facilities, showing various stages in the manufacture of a flour mill, including
lathes, drill presses, milling machines, and other wood-working and metal-working
machines in use. After the history of the company, the excellence and solid
construction of the company's flour mills are touted. Throughout, there
are small by very nice pictures (exterior shots) of mills around the United
States that use Anglo-American Mill Corporation mills.
"Milling With the Midget Marvel Flour Mill," originally
published by the Anglo-American Mill Co., Owensboro, KY, 1916. The "Preface"
to the booklet, "Milling With the Midget Marvel Flour Mill,"states
"It is a simple mill, easy of understanding, and in a large measure
automatic in its operation. This is true to such a degree that the best
of results may be obtained by the application of common sense as a substitute
for expert knowledge and by a thorough understanding of cause and effect
and the principles of the mill's operation.
his book is intended to supply that information in a non-technical manner
and so clearly that a careful reading of it and reference to it as occasion
demands will simplify the whole subject and give what instruction is necessary
in correcting trouble and turning out a product worthy of the mill. The
subjects have been treated in order beginning with the cleaning of the wheat,
and leading up to and through the mill, concluding with the finished products.
Every effort has been made to discuss each point fully, yet not enough to
confuse. Repetition has been eliminated, so far as possible, for the sake
of clearness, and with the hope that our remarks on any subject will be
remembered and considered in connection with all other matter in the book.
Naturally problems will present themselves from time to time which require
personal instructions, and for that purpose you have at your disposal for
advice our Milling Advisory Department. That department also, through a
most efficient system of monthly sample inspection, safeguards your yield
and quality by calling your attention to any errors you may make before
it is too late.
The essentials of good milling are clean, sound wheat, correct conditioning,
or tempering, proper grinding, and finally, what is just as important, a
complete understanding of the MIDGET MARVEL mill. These essentials are dealt
with and stressed in the endeavor o impress upon you their great importance.
A careful and thoughtful study of the contents of this book will prove invaluable
to the novice as well as to the experienced miller and at the same time
make it apparent that the MIDGET MARVEL mill can be successfully operated
by any man of average intelligence who applies himself to the task."
A Web Site that brings the History and Technology of Mills to Life.
I remember as a young child, my father, taking me to the Venango Roller
Mill, in Venango, Pennsylvania, where he had worked as a miller's helper.
He showed me the huge wheel pit where at one time a breast shot water wheel
had turned from the waters of French Creek. When he had worked there unloading
grain for the mill and loading boxcars of flour, the mill was powered by
water turbines. Sometimes we would stop at the F. A. Drake's Mill, Drake's
Mills, Pennsylvania, where we would buy bags of buckwheat flour and pancake
mix. We would walk across the road to the mill dam that my father had worked
on building in the 1930's, and I would watch the water flowing down the
mill race to power the mill's water turbines. I have not just traveled around
the country photographing mills and reading about them, I spent my life
working in a half dozen mills, and on a countless number of mills.
Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page provides information to museum
organizations for those involved in living history, agricultural technology,
and the history of mills and their folk life. I try to present useful knowledge
to mill museums, both large and small, that they can use "living history"
and interpretive programming.
The Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page since its creation in April
of 1996, its founding purpose has always been to bring the history and technology
The Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page has always tried to make
history a valuable part of the lives of mill museums. It achieves this purpose
through the exchange and sharing of ideas, information, tools and experiences
centered around accurate, active, participatory, object-based historical
Pond Lily Mill Restorations is committed to helping mill museum interpreters,
educators, researchers, administrators, curators and volunteers in these
1. Historical flour and grain milling.
2. The history and development of flour milling technology.
3. The historical trades and manufacturing associated with the grain milling
4. The historical clothing and folklore affiliated with the life of the
miller and others aligned with the trade.
5. Developing practical living history programming and interpretation and
sharing that information with others.
6. Historic site restoration and preservation, creation of mill museum collections,
and accurate program details within the above specialties.
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