Dangerous farm equipment used to make corn meal


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/27/dangerous-farm-equipment-used.html


… Damn. My family used to do that by hand. I guess grandma would have loved one of those.


Playing with dangerous farm equipment will Make Murica Great Again.


Now here’s a belt you could really get caught in.


On there one hand, yeah, that’s dangerous exposed machinery. On the other hand, those are some ingenious and very well-maintained devices! I can’t help but have some guilt at being the city-boy who’s not respecting the work and craftsmanship that went into that.


It probably does less damage statistically than bending over a metate and pounding for hours a day.


Or maybe these people just understand things a bit better regarding what happens if you do stupid things:

“But remember, please, the Law by which we live,
We are not built to comprehend a lie,
We can neither love nor pity nor forgive.
If you make a slip in handling us you die!”

Rudyard Kipling - The Secret of the Machines"

Both ends of the modern political spectrum work to isolate people from the consequences of their actions: One side by denying there are any consequences (What melting ice caps?) and the other by claiming everyone is a victim of someone else’s actions/thoughts/something done four hundred years ago by no one now living.


blah…step up to something that’d just take your hand clean off.


I’ll never take corn meal for granted again.


Dangerous farm equipment
I guess… If you have the attention span of a gold fish.
And if you do:



Man, my uncle was a dairy farmer and he lost half his arm in one of these things. He was grinding corn for feed one day and his shirt got caught. He just kept churning that handle though, and his arm went in. Stripped all the flesh off his bones, and ejected his ulna like a corn cob.* We called him Uncle Lefty when I was growing up, even though it was his left arm that went in, so he was actually an Uncle Righty. Showed he had a sense of humor about it.

*no not really


I would have gone with “Ingenious farm equipment used to make corn meal” Having lived in W. Va. and attended several state fairs there I was constantly reminded how creative we can be given the right inspiration and tools. Most of these folks have very little to work with to get the job done. Sometimes rigging a tractor engine to a belt and some pulleys is the best they can do on a HAF summer day. There were lots of sweaty red necked fingerless folks at these fairs as a result but in the end the cornbread was off the charts good.



Pretty sure that end of the spectrum tends to point out that it wasn’t until the 1950s that there was any effort to even begin to address centuries of systemic oppression, it wasn’t until the mid-60s that dealing with separate-but-equal and the right to vote began to be touched, and with redlining carrying on well into the 80s, and institutional racism still carrying on in various domains today, there are many people alive today who were affected by injustices of a scope and scale that are hard to even fully delineate.


I remember using one of those hand-cranked corn strippers at my grandfather’s farm when I was very linnle (late 1950s). On his you had to remove the cob by hand; it didn’t have one of these cool automatic ejectors.


But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya.


As with aesthetically pleasing predators, unbelievably specialized parasites, and particularly elegant toxins; it is perfectly possible to admire the ingenuity and execution of something while also being of the opinion that it really shouldn’t be handled without appropriate precautions.


“Cornbread! Made with LOVE, and the occasional human finger.”


This feels uncanny to me, because some of the sights and sounds remind me so much of my dad’s side of the family (I notice the sales label is marked Tennessee).
Irene looks like my late grandma Opal, who is buried between my paternal grandad and step-grandad out in Jackson, TN. The accents in the video aren’t quite as thick as my family on that side, but they do remind me of them.
I used to see machines like this a lot in the 70’s because my step-grandad was a real estate agent out of Murray, KY. My uncle ran the Levi’s jeans factory in the area until they shut down and moved production in the late 70’s.
I believe they were on good terms with the Ellis Popcorn Company, because we’d always go home with a couple of large tins of Blue Ribbon popcorn my step-grandad said he’d got from the Ellis’.

Don’t forget to save a few whole kernels for the cornbread, that’s how I like it!


Sometimes it was a career enhancer though. Get the exact same injury as this guy and you could wind up signing a multi megabuck deal.