Young Inventor Develops First Husker/Shredder

article image
Patent drawing for August Rosenthal's corn husker

Fifteen-year-old August Rosenthal, the son of German immigrants, began toying with the idea of a corn husker on his parents’ farm near Reedsburg, Wis., in 1882. It took him seven years to get a good, working horse-operated model, with Prince, the family workhorse, powering a circle sweep. “Before long,” says Brian Wayne Wells in the May/June 2001 issue of Belt Pulley magazine, “a steady stream of ears of corn began sliding down the hopper of the machine into a waiting bushel basket. Meanwhile, the corn stalk was discarded intact on the ground behind the machine.”

After that, young Rosenthal added chopping and shredding capabilities to the machine. By 1894, Cyclone Model 1 was perfected, and the modern corn husker/shredder was born. Despite sudden competition from other companies manufacturing corn husker/shredders, the Rosenthal Corn Husking Machine Co. continued to successfully manufacture and sell its models, each with increased improvements. Four-roller and eight-roller models were manufactured, eventually called the Rosenthal 40 and Rosenthal 80. By 1920, the company, then named Rosenthal Corn Husker Co., had begun to manufacture silo fillers. The company went out of business in the 1950s. FC

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment