Remembering 1960s Corn Dryers and Shellers

| 8/15/2017 10:00:00 AM

I was thinking the other day about some of the old machinery once used in our area that may be lost. Some was built in Minnesota; some was built by national machinery companies.

Our neighbor had a picker-sheller made by J.I. Case. It was a 2-row machine with a round tank for shelled corn. Unlike New Idea, Oliver and John Deere, this unit could only be used to pick and shell corn. On all other picker-shellers, the cob elevator and husking bed could be removed and put on the sheller.

There were no farm-shelled corn dryers 50 to 60 years ago, so you had to take the corn to the elevator (if your local elevator had a dryer). At about that time, there was a dryer built by a company in Minneapolis that you could set up to your corn crib. You put canvases around your corn crib and then blew in hot air from a big burner with a PTO-powered fan.


By the 1960s grain bins and grain dryers replaced corn cribs and became the company’s largest selling line.

If you planned on drying your corn, you put a tunnel down the center on the floor, stopping short of the far end so that you had enough corn for the hot air to be forced through to get even drying. On a round crib, you put a tunnel on the floor with a tunnel up the center and put canvas all around the crib. You left that tunnel top down in the corn also so you would have even drying.