Items Found in an Average Grist Mill Circa 1840-70
picks (mill cracking and furrowing picks- bills, thrifts and facinf
2. 45" to 56" Proof
staff 7 wooden case (depending upon the diameter of the millstones).
3. 45" to 56" Paint
staff (depending upon the diameter of the millstones).
(beam, barrel, platform).
5. Flour bins.
6. Miller's stand up desk.
7. Miller's shelves.
8. Hand Truck.
and flour scoops.
11. Sacks and sack closing devices.
12. Sack or bag holder.
13. Brushes and brooms (sweeping, counter and elevator brushes).
14. Leather belting.
15. Leather lacing and lacing tools (drive punches, awl, cutting knife and
leather belt cutter).
16. Elevator cups and elevator belting.
17. Wooden elevator pulleys.
18. Wooden pulleys.
19. Bearings and shafting.
21. Grain probe (grain sampler), bag sampler and grain tester.
22. 6' - 8' Bolter (sifter) with chutes on bottom or conveyors.
23. Rolling screen (cleaner).
24. Smutter (cleaner).
25.Trammel, and testing
sieve, bolting cloth magnifying glass, and flour trier.
26. Belt clamp or tightener (belt stretcher
for lacing belts).
dish, tally board, toll board.
28. Corn sheller.
29. Damsels, hoppers, meal bins.
31. Belt Dressing (perhaps homemade using a flour mixture).
32. Rap sticks and mallets.
33. Flour barrels, barrel
head tool, and barrel tongs (for use with sack hoist).
34. Branding irons (196 pounds), and or barrel head stencils.
35. Cask candle holders and or lanterns.
37. Bench vice.
40. Wrenches and other basic hand tools.
41. Copy of "The Young Mill-Wright & Miller's Guide," by Oliver
42. Copy of "The American Miller, and Millwright's Assistant,"
by William Carter Hughes.
43. Wooden augers- conveyors.
45. Rope pulley, block and tackle.
crane(s), bails, screw, wrench, pins and millstone blocks.
Dimensions: Sack or Bag Holder is made so a cloth flour sack will fit
up through the center opening and them can be folded around the outside.
The sack holder is then laid on two strips of wood sitting across the top
of a wooden barrel. When full it can be tied shut and lifted out of the
1. Sack Holder- Hoop 1/2 inch in diameter. Hole centers in bar is
10 3/4 inches. From center of back of bar to the outside of hoop at largest
point is 9 3/4 inches. The ends of the hoop is held in the bar with wooden
pins (one on each end). Bar is 1/2 inches thick, 3/4 inches wide in center
and 1 1/8 inches wide at ends, and 12 3/4 inches total bar length.
2. Sack Holder- Hoop 1/2 inch in diameter. Hole centers in bar is
11 3/4 inches. From center of back of bar to the outside of hoop at largest
point is 8 3/4 inches. The ends of the hoop is held in the bar with square
(actually they are rectangular) metal nails (one on each end). Bar is 5/8
inches thick, 3/4 inches wide the length of the bar and it tapers to a 1/4
inch round circle at the ends. Inside of this circle is a pointed spike
that holds the cloth sack in place. The pointed spike is made out of a square
piece of metal stock placed in s square hole. The total bar length of the
bar is 13 3/4 inches.
A wooden trammel for a 42 inch pair of millstones.
Overall length is 24 1/8 inches.
Width of feather quill end is 1 3/8 inches, 4 1/8 inches at millstone spindle
end, and the length of that section is 7 1/4 inches until beginning of curve.
Thickness at feather quill hole end is 5/8 inches, & thickness at millstone
spindle end is 1 3/8 inches.
Length from center of feather quill hole to center of millstone spindle
hole is 19 inches.
Millstone spindle opening is 1 7/8 inches wide by 2 inches long. Split must
have occured with wedged tight onto millstone spindle. This is very common
in most trammels is that they split. It should have been made out of a hard
wood to prevent splitting.
Names in pencil written on both sides of handle.
Original repairs made to split with square nails, and two later modern round
Surface has hatchet marks and has been hand planed.
Wood is dry, appears to be a soft wood, and has some worm holes on the surface.
It appears to be a stand up desk or writing desk that has been attached
to a structural support post on the mill's first floor. It has created a
work station desk with a single leg added in the front for support. A standard
miller's desk would have four legs to allow the miller to use the desk in
the miller's office while standing up. Most of them have a flat writing
surface lid that reveals a storage space underneath. Sometimes across the
top of the desk are pigeon holes or slots to hold papers of work or jobs
in progress. A desk of this type is found in the Eling Tide Mill, Totton,
England, and the Pickwick Mill, Winona, Minnesota. The above 1970's photo
is of miller Harry Dillon at the Ancaster Mountain Mills, circa 1863, Ancaster,
This stand up desk may have been used by the White brothers, Alcibiades
and Charles White, who were the last millers who worked for the Shoemaker
family, from 1876 to 1896-7. The legend also says that the desk's legs were
cut off shorter during the mill's teahouse period from 1900 to 1934, to
made it into a sit down desk. The White brothers lived in the Miller's House
across the road from the mill in hopes that the mill would be restored or
fixed, until 1917. The actual age and origin of the desk may be unknown,
but it has been in the mill (at least) since the 1930's Fitz Water Wheel
Company restoration. On the front of the desk is carved "White Bro.
1876-96-7." There is a smiling face in the "O" of the word
brothers. The front of the desk also shows changes in and locations of the
locking mechanisms that was on the desk at one time.
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