From the Crib to the Kitchen: Using Hand Crank Corn Shellers
Before the production and popularization of portable gas engines and other small, fuel-powered machines, the farmer (and the farm wife) often depended on human power, as demonstrated by the hand crank antique corn shellers in Rowe Garmon's collection.
Restored box corn shellers in Rowe Garmon’s collection.
A restored antique corn sheller from the collection of Ron Drosselmeyer, Two Buttes, Colo.
A hand-crank grist mill, made by Root-Heath Mfg. Co., Plymouth, Ohio, from the Isler collection. (Root-Heath was manufacturer of the Silver King tractor.)
Rowe’s Horatius box sheller. This model is unusual in that the picker wheel is part of the hand crank.
A board-mounted nubber from the collection of Joe Isler, Prospect, Ohio. These gadgets were used to shell the rounds from both ends of the ears put aside for seed corn. The rounds were kept separate from the flats, and were used for replanting after the farmer ran out of flats.
The Horatius sheller’s picker wheel and rub plate.
A box sheller from the Isler collection with nubber attached. That innovation made it much easier to separate rounds from flats.
Rowe’s New Idea no. 1 corn sheller.
From left: Combination grist mill and corn sheller; hand crank corn sheller with butter and tipper attachment; two-hole corn sheller.
Ear corn drying on special drying spikes. Farmers gleaned the best ears from their crop to save for seed corn, hung them to dry on racks until early spring, then shelled and bagged the kernels for the next crop.
The two-hole machine that got Rowe interested in collecting corn shellers. He found this rare piece at a garage sale.
Rowe’s Pennsylvania no. 3 corn sheller.
A John Deere corn sheller (from the Isler collection) has a special bracket to hold a basket of corn to make feeding easier.