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Joseph Briggs' 1845 Patent Corn Sheller

Be it known that I, Joseph D. Briggs, of Saratoga Springs, in the county of Saratoga and the state of New York, have invented a new and useful machine for shelling corn.

It is a small hand machine made mostly of wood and cast iron. The wood part, or frame, I will now describe. It is constructed most conveniently of two pieces of plank (A and B, fig 1). The plank A is about 2 1/2 feet long, of convenient width at the point A for a seat for the operator to sit upon, narrowing toward point B. The plank B is nearly 1/3 the length of A, and is laid upon the narrow end of A so as to make that end of the frame 2 or 3 inches thick and 4 or 5 inches wide. About 4 inches from the end a hole is bored to admit the shaft and spring coiled upon it. Upon this part of the frame, with 4 bolts (c c, fig 1) passing above and below the wood or through it, are fastened the iron parts. Except 6 bolts and nuts and a spiral spring, they are of cast iron. I name them thus, the rear plate (E fig 1), the wheel ((G), the stationary plate (D), and the yoke. All of these I will now describe separately, and then show the manner of their combination. The bolts are made of 1/4 inch iron rod, about 5 inches long, headed at one end, with screws and nuts at the other. The spring is of brass or iron wire, No. 12, 20 coils around the shaft (U fig 4). The rear plate is an oblong square (E fig 4)near 4 1/2 inches by 3 inches, with holes at the corners for the 4 fastening bolts, a hole in the center for rear bearing of shaft, and two others on each side of this for the two bolts attached to the yoke. The wheel, (fig 2) crank spurs and shaft are cast in one piece. Wheel 7 to 8 inches across, shaft; shaft 6 to 8 inches long, tapering from 7/8 inch to 5/8 inch diameter. Crank joined to edge of wheel, length 7 inches, with wooden handle. There are spurs, 1/2 inch long and 1 inch apart, set in 5 circles around the shaft, those of the outside row or circle being 1/4 inch to let the corn in better. The stationary plate (fig 3) is about as long as diameter of wheel, with width 1/4 less. On its sides are two parallel upright flanks or flanges (M). They are about 1 inch wide and may be as long as the plate or shorter. (They might be just alike, but I usually make the left one only of full length). The ends of these project a little by the edge of the whell when it when it lies on them. There is a central flange at the top, slanting up from left to right to throw out the cob. Through each of these flanges there are slots or notches for the regular rows of spurs to pass without touching.

That the use of the parts of the stationary plate may be fully understood, I will suppose an ear of corn passing through the machine. It enters at the top toward the right (at N) which is hollowed back somewhat, and is borne by the spurs against the flange to the right and downward, tip first, over the ridges (o o) slanting to keep it rolling. Having passed below the center (K), the lower end of the cob hangs out (toward P) below, but will not drop out, for the spurs in that place go horizontally, not downward, while the upper end is rolling across the teeth (T) against the flange to the left, whence it is carried up butt first and out of the top. Thus the ear is raked twice full length near the center - down tip first, then up butt first, thus allowing the machine to be made quite small.

My corn sheller is used by sitting on it to hold it steady on a bench or chair, or it may be screwed down; turning with the right hand, putting in corn with the left. Fig 5 shows a person shelling from one basket into another.

What I claim as my invention and desire to secure Letters Patent is: The contrivance as above set forth for raking the ear on both sides of the center, first down and then up. The arrangement for this purpose of the flanges M and their combinations with the spurs of the wheel, I claim and wish patented.

Joseph D. Briggs

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