November 22, 2016

22/11/2016: Our milling engineers and the milling revolution

Milling journals of the past at The Mills Archive

by Mildred Cookson, The Mills Archive, UK

Mildred Cookson

My two previous articles have mentioned the importance to the milling trade of conventions and exhibitions. A report in The Miller, January 7th 1884 (pp838-9) continues that theme.

The report, of the Islington exhibition in London, showed that the milling engineers of the time were fully alive to the needs of millers as the demand for every more efficient machines continued to grow. The following snapshots give a glimpse of the progress being made by specific firms at that time.

Widely regarded as unsurpassed

Buchholz and Co, founded by Gustav Adolf Buchholz, received an order from Messrs. W Baker & Son, a well-known miller in Bristol, to design a gradual reduction system for the manufacture of 5,000 sacks of flour per week. The intended new mill was to replace one that had burnt down.

The building of the mill, the engine and the wheat cleaning system were carried out under the personal direction of Mr. Baker. The system of flour making, introduced by Mr. Buchholz, was set up to suit the requirements of the trade in the South of England, and his knowledge of gradual reduction, first introduced in 1864, was widely regarded as unsurpassed.

Mr J Harrison Carter of London reported that during 1883 he had put in important additions to the gradual reduction mills at several sites in the UK and a number, which he erected, were of high capacity output. Mr Carter had also been working on mills in Ireland.

Mr AB Childs & Sons of London had started up three mills on the Jonathan Mills’ system; one at Chelsea belonging to Mr E Mead, another at Kirkaldy, Scotland owned by Mr W Hogarth, and a third at Blackburn in Lancashire belonging to Mr Appleby & Sons.

The firm also had additional contracts for the same system and it was understood that they had a large demand for their bran roller mill and Wegmann’s “Victoria” porcelain roller mill. Messrs WR Dell & Son of London, in addition to finishing Mr French’s mill at Bow in London, which would have a weekly output of from 1500 to 2000 sacks, had started on several other mills with the gradual reduction system.

As proof that millstones had not been totally superseded by rollers in the manufacture of flour, they stated that the firm had sold between four and five hundred millstones during the year, besides a large number of wheat cleaning and other machines.

Messrs Fiechter & Sons of Liverpool had secured four contracts for complete mills based on their roller system. In their advertising they comment that in re-modelling stone mills to the roller process they could use all the old machinery if desired.

Mr W Gardner of Gloucester had remodeled several mills, which were working successfully. He had brought out a new centrifugal which he claimed had important new features and a new three-high roller mill.

He had also done a good trade in millstones for the UK and the colonies. In passing I should mention that a typical gem in our Archive collections is a tender from Mr Gardner to install a roller plant to be driven by the waterwheel at Hildersham Mills in Cambridgeshire.

Messrs Higginbottom & Stuart of Liverpool had been busy during the year working their system of milling by discs. They were strong advocates of gradual reduction and complete elimination of the germ from flour. Their orders also included wheat-cleaning machinery with special reference to Indian wheat.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
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