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Curatorial Items Found in an Average Grist Mill Circa 1840-70

An unusual bench from a grist mill that has wheels on the bottom two of the legs
so it could also be used as a simple hand truck.

Curatorial Items Found in an Average Grist Mill Circa 1840-70,
Theodore R. Hazen

1. Mill picks (mill cracking and furrowing picks- bills, thrifts and facinf hammers).
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).
4. Scales (beam, barrel, platform).
5. Flour bins.
6. Miller's stand up desk.
7. Miller's shelves.
8. Hand Truck.
9. Grain and flour scoops.
10. Hand sifters (temce).
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.
20. Wooden grain shovels.
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).
27. Toll dish, tally board, toll board.
28. Corn sheller.
29. Damsels, hoppers, meal bins.
30. Paddles.
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.
36. Raddle.
37. Bench vice.
38. Rake.
39. Mallets.
40. Wrenches and other basic hand tools.
41. Copy of "The Young Mill-Wright & Miller's Guide," by Oliver Evans.
42. Copy of "The American Miller, and Millwright's Assistant," by William Carter Hughes.
43. Wooden augers- conveyors.
44. Rope.
45. Rope pulley, block and tackle.
46. Millstone crane(s), bails, screw, wrench, pins and millstone blocks.

A. French millstones 42 " to 56" in diameter for grinding wheat and producting white flour.
B. Middling millstones 36" to 42" in diameter for grinding of wheat middlings.
C. Domestic millstones 42" to 48" in diameter for grinding of other grains.
D. Hulling millstones 36" to 54" in diameter depending upon the types of grains.
47. Wetstone (for sharpening mill picks).
48. Wood stove.
49. Chair and or bench.
50. Miscellaneous items: aprons, gloves, coat, hat, boxes of wedges, pounding blocks, nails and screws, grease bucket, oil can, and paddle, buckets, pails, tubs, ax, hatchet, spliting wedges and chopping block, wood box or bin, ash bucket.

A Leather Belt Clamp for Hand Lacing Belts.
This one was fashioned after one used by the Fitz Water Wheel Company's
Belt Clamp that they used in their historical mill restorations.

Sack Holder Number 1.

Sack Holder Number 2.

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 barrel.

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.

Trammel, a flat piece of wooden with a hole to accommodate a feather quill in one end,
and the other has a square hole that fits onto the millstone spindle. It is used to test the
millstone spindle for true, upright running. Also called jack stick, quill stick, and a tram stick.

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 nails added.
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.

An Unusual Victorian Hand Truck.
A hand truck used in a flour mill or chesse factory.

A Miller's Stand Up Desk.
The miller enters a customer's name into an account book.

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, Ontario, Canada.

Peirce (Pearce)-Shoemaker's Mill, White brothers Miller's Desk.

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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Copyright 1996 by T. R. Hazen