Portsmouth has a strong heritage as a farming community. At the Portsmouth Hist…

Portsmouth has a strong heritage as a farming community. At the Portsmouth Historical Society we have the Old Town Hall filled with farm tools. We are currently trying to relabel the tools and equipment. It is a big job and we can use the help of volunteers who can research items in the comfort of their home. This is an example of the information Curator's Committee member Richard Schmidt found on a corn sheller that was used on Lakeside Farm on Union Street.

A Hench & Dromgold corn sheller from the late 1800s. Manufactured in York, Pennsylvania.

A corn sheller is a hand-held device or a piece of machinery to shell corn kernels of the cob for feeding to livestock or for other uses.

The modern corn sheller is commonly attributed to Lester E. Denison from Middlesex County, Connecticut. Denison was issued a patent on August 12, 1839, for a freestanding, hand-operated machine that removed individual kernels of corn by pulling the cob through a series of metal-toothed cylinders which stripped the kernels off the cob.

The operation of a corn sheller is similar to a threshing machine, but with some differences to deal with larger grain size and other differences of corn compared to wheat and other crops. Corn shellers can be powered by a hand crank, a tractor, a stationary engine, or an electric motor. Whole corn cobs are fed in. They are pulled between two toothed wheels, usually made of metal. Each wheel spins the opposite direction of the other. The teeth pull the kernels off the cob until there are no kernels left. The kernels fall out through a screen into a container (such as a bucket) placed underneath the machine. The cob is then ejected out, since it cannot pass through the screen.

Source: Portsmouth Historical Society

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