Making a Head
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.
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
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
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
From: National Miller, February, 1928, page 31
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