August 15, 2016

15/08/2016: The German engineering works of Messrs Seck Brothers

by Mildred Cookson, taken from Milling and Grain Magazine

In last month's edition of Milling and Grain, I described a mill that had been fitted in 1888 with the Seck system. This made me wonder what else we might find about the Seck Brothers in material held at the Mills Archive from that period. 

Picture courtesy of the Mills Archive
On  December 7 1885, The Miller published a detailed description of this important German firm and I have supplemented this report with material from a newly acquired 1920 catalogue and modern photographs of a Seck mill kindly donated by the Director of the Robinson Brewery in Stockport, where the machine had been in use for at least 83 years up until 2012. 

The mill remains a showpiece treasure, much admired by visitors to the brewery. Messrs Seck Brothers traded from 41 Seething Lane in London but their works were at Darmstadt and Oberursel in Germany.  

Early days
The founder of the firm, milling engineer, Wilhelm Seck, set up his factory in 1865 at Bockenheim near Frankfurt, where he manufactured his successful smutter and decorticating machine. This apparatus, popular both on the continent and in the UK, continued to feature prominently in the Seck range of machines. 

Picture courtesy of the Mills Archive

In 1870 Wilhelm took into partnership his two brothers, Charles and Christian and the new firm flourished. The amazing steps forward in the art and science of milling, after a long, almost dormant, period suddenly brought a demand for new tools, which engineers such as the Secks, could make and supply. 

The brothers, all originally millwrights, devoted themselves to the production and perfection of these "with rare energy and perseverance".

Read the full article HERE.

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