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Making a Head Miller

Gold Medal Flour Ad Army of Millers
From an advertisement for Gold Medal Flour from a 1910 magazine.
An army of milling experts help to make Washburn - Crosby's Gold Medal Flour.
Five of them are pictured here.

Editorials by Millers
Forth of a series f editorials for millers written by millers themselves. C. L. Arddinger, head miller for the White Dove Milling Company New Athens, Illinois, is the author of this month's editorial.

Making a Head Miller
C. L. Arddinger

Any young man possessing and willing to begin at the bottom of the ladder can, with proper application, master the art of making good flour and become a first-class head miller or superintendent. He must, first of all, be willing to take hold and help in any task that may come before him. The man who watches the clock and is afraid he will do too much or work a little overtime occasionally will never get very far in the milling business.

Although we consider a high school or college education will be of great benefit to the prospective miller, it is not absolutely necessary, as the majority of our present-day millers have had neither. However, one must have the ability to understand and respond to the instructions of the men over him, especially the head miller and superintendent,m most of whom are glad to help a young fellow along.

He should subscribe to milling journals, buy milling textbooks and read them thoroughly.

To be a successful miller one should learn to read flow sheets and be able to make them. Also one should understand how to make changes when necessary and the reasons for making these changes. One should be able to make neat looking spouts, to splice belts, ropes, etc., as many millers in smaller mills are required to do this work and the knowledge will come in handy in the large mill also.

A knowledge of different kinds of wheat, their grades, their diseases and how to detect the same will be very useful. As he advances he will learn how to temper or prepare the wheat so as to obtain the best milling results from it. He will learn how to handle this wheat on the rolls to make the best flour and yield.

He will learn the proper numbers of silk and wire cloth that go on the sifters and reels and the reasons for each number, how the bran and shorts are treated and now best to handle the dust from the different dust collecting systems; how to purify and grade the different kinds of middlings.

He will learn the different cuts and spirals on rolls, what they are for and why; the speeds of rolls, why the one roll runs faster than its mate; how much faster and why it does this.

The different bleaching and aging systems will come to his attention for consideration and study. The figuring of yields and percentages is necessary, as the miller must have a fair grasp of arithmetic. Also he will be figuring speeds of different machines, rolls, etc., and this calls for arithmetic. A fair general education in arithmetic, spelling and English is most necessary and can be acquired by anyone. A good dictionary and encyclopedia will come in handy, and as the young miller gets along he can take a correspondence course in milling chemistry if he chooses, which will help develop more of an understanding of the elements which go toward making up a grain of wheat.

In other words, to become a first-class head miller one must be ambitions and willing, have a working knowledge of practical milling, millwrighting, mechanical engineering and some chemistry. The more of this, the better it will be.

Let him learn to treat both the men above him and under him with respect and kindness, and always be willing to listen with an open mind to suggestions which his fellow workers may see fit to bring to his attention.

Couple all this with a sense of humor and the ability to face troubles as they confront him with a confident smile and cheerful spirit, and he will become a credit to himself and the milling fraternity- an "A-No.1 Head Miller."

From: National Miller, February, 1928, page 31

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