Ed & Fred
Ed & Fred Bungle are the owners and operators of Bungle Bros. Milling
Company. Through their awkward and clumsy ways, they reveal human qualities
common to us all. Ed & Fred has been in business for over 10
years, appearing exclusively on the pages of Old Mill News. They
are used as a filler; one or more cartoons may appear in an issue.
I owe my inspiration to Dorn Howlett, now a retired art education teacher
at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He encouraged me to do something
with my art and my knowledge of milling.
I learned millstone
dressing from the late Arthur Henry, Sr. (Keystone Mills & Zortman's
Flour & Feed Company, Edinboro, Pa.); the late Harry N. Moffatt (of
A. Drake's Sons Mill, Drake's Mills, Pa.); and the late Paul W.
Roth (of Roth Milling Company, Prospect, Pa.). I would always go see Paul
when he was dressing millstones. Roth Milling Company milled buckwheat in
the same manner as the mills I was working in (first making chop on a roller
mill and regrinding it on millstones), but Roth had better solutions
to keep the healthman happy.
The names Ed & Fred came from two brothers, the late Ed & Fred
Zessinger, of Zortman's Flour & Feed Company in Edinboro, Pa. The mill
closed in 1980, the machinery sold and removed. Since then, all structures
have been removed and the area has become a park. For my cartoon, I have
switched their names - Ed Zessinger (miller) has become Fred Bungle and
Fred Zessinger (the farmer and machinist) has become Ed Bungle. Ed Zessinger
wore glasses and always had a pipe in his mouth. The pipe was only replaced
by food. He always wore a cap, and I knew him for years before one day I
saw him without it. To my surprise, he was losing his hair! Once in a while
we would get Ed's brother, Fred, at the mill. When you got the two together,
Fred did all the taking and Ed just kept his pipe in his mouth. My presence
made it, amusingly enough, Ed, Fred, & Ted at the mill! In the cartoon,
I have occasionally added their father, Jed Bungle. The name Jed comes from
my son's name. The character who inspired Jed Bungle comes from Zortman's
mill owner, Charles L. Zortman, Jr. If we did not know the answer to a question
or problem. Charlie would always know the answer or know where to look.
The backdrop of the cartoon is at either Zortman's Mill or F. A. Drakes
Mill, where I also worked. Inspiration for my cartoons come from the late
Clarence "Red" Moffatt and his now late father, Harry N. Moffatt,
at Drakes Mills, Cambridge Springs, Pa. Red (who would grow a beard for
deer hunting season) is the inspiration for Jed Bungle's Beard. Red was
working in the mill one day, smoking like usual, when he offered an unknown
stranger a cigarette. He turned out to be an inspector or agent for the
mill's insurance company. Smooth-talking Red talked his way out of it, claiming
it was all a joke and knew who the man was all the time.
Inspiration also comes from the stories I have heard, or sometimes a safety
message. They were created to bring some humor and some "cement"
to bring together the members of the Society for the Preservation of Old
Mills. Only SPOOM members would understand what Ed & Fred are about.
Note: A version of this article by T. R. Hazen appeared in
OLD MILL NEWS, Fall 1994, Vol. XXII, No. 4, Whole Number 89, page
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