Corn Sheller History

The Antique Corn Sheller and Its Evolution

Antique corn shellers are usually made of quality cast iron that are hand operated.  Same as with the corn shellers today, they can efficiently remove every kernel from the corncob.  Most corn shellers today somehow still make use of the same mechanism as the earlier designs.

In 1815, the picker wheel and disk types of shellers were invented.  The mechanism is made possible through pressing the ears of the corns against the spikes for the spiked disk type of shellers.  Both the corn kernels and cobs are then dropped into a container.

However, this still requires extra work as farmers have to separate the corns from the cobs after a successful shelling.

In 1840’s, this problem was solved as they were able to make a design wherein the cobs are expelled  while the corn kernels are then dropped below.

From this time on, many designs have been inspired by the antique corn shellers.  Many manufacturers have started producing these as the need arises.  They have included lots of many modern touches to the corn sheller machines today.

Antique Corn Sheller – A Collector’s Item

The antique corn shellers are now rapidly becoming a popular farm collectible.  Not only do they look good despite their rusty appearance, they still function amazingly well.  Prices vary depending on the working condition and the difficulty to find.

As per research and feedbacks, the small versions with one to two hole types sell $50 up.  The larger versions being four to six holes spring type corn shellers are the difficult to find shellers.  They can be found priced ranging from $250 to $500 today.

The cylinder type shellers are the ones still being commonly used today especially in small farms and household use only.

Antique Corn Shellers Through The Years

  1. Advance-Rumely Thresher Co., LaPorte, Ind. – Also known as Rumely-Watts sheller made up of cylinder type.
  2. American Well Works, Aurora, III – Their product, American Improved Corn Sheller became #2 corn sheller in 1887.
  3. Appleton Manufacturing Co., Batavia, III
    • New Hero Corn Sheller  - Released in 1905 which had the two-hole design that made use of spring shellers.
    • Royal Corn Sheller - , Smaller with only one hole, fed manually, but now with a fan to blow the corn shucks.
    • New Hero 6-hole Force Feed Corn Sheller – Released in 1917 that made use of an all-steel design and cylinder shellers.
  4. F.C. Austin Manufacturing Co., Chicago, III – Released the Austin Sheller in 1889 that has to be operated by two persons.  One has to feed the corns manually into the machine and the other has to crank the sheller.
  5. A. Buch’s Sons, Elizabethtown, PA – They released in 1899 the No.7 Pennsylvania corn sheller that makes use of a shaker-screen system.  This was meant to clean the shelled corn kernels.  The also made this machine movable to allow easy transportation.
  6. Challenge Co., Batavia, III
    • Dandy one-hole corn sheller – Released in 1910 with an optional cleaning fan and feed table.
    • Dandy two-hole corn sheller –Heavy weight of 300 pounds and requires a minimum of one horsepower.
  7. King & Hamilton, Ottawa, III – The makes of what is known as the best corn sheller on earth, the Ottawa C Dustless Cylinder Sheller.  This was released in 1920’s and have been known to be available up until late 1950’s.