I am currently working on a project sponsored by the Ressler Mill Foundation. The Ressler Mill Foundation manages the Mascot Roller Mill on the Mill Stream in Upper Leacock Township. The foundation has engaged a mill wright to refurbish the milling equipment, not necessarily for the purpose of grinding flour again, but as a means of keeping the equipment in good shape so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. My role is to photograph the equipment before and after the refurbishing work. Every time I go inside the mill, I see new things that I hadn’t noticed before.
Today’s featured gadget is a flour barrel loader. This device lifts the empty barrel up so that the flour spout is near the bottom of the barrel. This helps to minimize the amount of dust generated by the falling flour. As the barrel fills, its weight increases, and the barrel moves downward. When the barrel is full, the barrel is fully lowered onto a hand cart so that it can be moved away to make room for the next barrel.
A barrel of flour weighs 196 pounds. It takes about 280 pounds of wheat to produce one barrel of flour. The older mills that used grind stones to grind the wheat could process about eight or ten barrels per day. The newer, roller process mills could process double or triple that amount. By comparison, today’s electric powered mills measure their output in hundredweight (CWT). An old roller mill putting out 20 barrels per day was processing a little over 39 CWT per day. Snavely’s mill in Lititz has a capacity of 19,200 CWT per day!
After each barrel is filled, it is sealed with a lid. The miller would often mark each one with the mill’s logo. That was done by applying paint to a metal stencil that looked like this.
The Mascot Mill (aka Ressler’s Mill) is open for tours several days a week during the summer months. For more information about the Ressler Mill Foundation, visit their website at https://resslermill.com/
This is the second article in the series. The first article may be found here: Amazing Milling Machinery 1