The Old Time Farm Magazines: Windmills, Oatmeal and a Stocking Bag

Read articles from old farm magazines that give advice on windmills, oatmeal, and stocking bags.
By MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors
July/August 1976
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Fig. 2. — A drawing of the "Eureka" windmill.
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This page contains excerpts from issues of The American Agriculturist dated 1883. 

Some Improved Windmills, or Wind Engines

In the March number of the American Agriculturist pages 98-99, we discussed the value of the force of the wind as utilized by the Windmill or Wind engine. At the same time a number of standard mills were presented, and their differences to scale extent pointed out. These did not include all the first-class mills; in fact, we did not even mention the "Halladay" Mill, made by the U. S. Wind Engine and Pump Co., Batavia, III., one of the pioneers, as many of our readers know, in the field of improved Windmills in this country. In the present article, without setting forth the importance of windmills in general — as that was given at some length last March — we simply wish to and to the list then commenced, some of the mills that have since come before our notice. The stain feature in the "Halladay" Windmill is the arrangement of the regulating gear by a sliding head, so that when the velocity increases the sails present less surface to the wind. The speed of the wind-wheel is dependent on the velocity of the wind, and the angle at which it strikes the sails. In the "Halladay" the exposed surface is diminished without changing the angle, thus keeping the pressure of the wind equally distributed on all sides of the wind-wheel, avoiding strain, and at the same time time being self-regulating.

Image A shows this mill in position when at rest. (Click on the "Image Gallery" to view this and other images from the article.) When the sails are fully spread they take a radial position somewhat as in the wind-wheel shown in Image B — that of the Eureka Mill, manufactured by the Kewanee Mfg. Co., New York City. This is a "solid wheel" mill, and, like all of its class, has certain points in its favor. It is claimed that ice and sleet do not interfere with their work as much as with the movable mills, which sometimes must be cleaned before they will start. It is a self-regulating mill, and simple in its construction.

The same company, Powell & Douglas, Waukegan III., that make The "Champion " Wind-engine make an Iron Screw Windmill; it has a twisted sail, and works on the same principle as a propeller wheel, in fact, is the "Champion," with corrugated iron instead of wooden slat fans. These mills are self-regulating, and can be set by the governing weight to run at any desired speed. The "Iron Duke," made by O. S. Gilbert & Co., Indianapolis, Ind., is a self-regulating mill and, for the power it gives, is light, strong, and durable. Each of the units mentioned has special points of its own, which are set forth at length in the circulars and pamphlets of tile several companies, and with the light which these will give, upon the subject, those desiring mills are enabled to decide which meets their wants the most fully. The U. S. Windmill Co., for example, makes 17 sizes, ranging all the way from that of one-man power, up to those of 45 horse-power, employed by railroads, etc.

A Mammoth Outfit for 25 Cents

Large and small are indefinite terms, and even " mammoth " does not convey a clear idea of the size of alt object, even if it is an " outfit." As the " outfit" is bent by mail, we are sure that it does not weigh over four pounds. In this case a "mammoth" is under 64 ounces. "Outfit" for what? That is a secret. To find that out one must send twenty-five cents to Smith & Co. This circular of S. & Co. is very funny reading. It claims that every agent will make "a dollar every hour that he works at the business," The principal part of both sides of the circular, and a large one it is, is filled with items most ingeniously calculated to excite curiosity, and we have no doubt that remittances come in abundantly to Smith & Co. This circular is an interesting addition to the literature of the " Variety Business."

They were both prepared for be forehand!

You hardly need be told that the magic-lantern exhibition could not have been given without some one to make the lantern. Others arranged the light, and others still carefully painted the small pictures, the enlarged shadows of which you thought so wonderful. So with this spread of foliage, which, within a few days, has so changed the real scene. This required many days for its preparation. When in the sweltering days of last July and August, you were glad to rest in the shade of the old horsechestnut or of your favorite beech, these and all the other trees were busy at work in preparing for this exhibition. When all the parts were ready, they were carefully packed away in cases, some with down or wool to keep from harm by the cold, and other cases were varnished or cemented on the outside to keep out the wet, and at last when everything was ready, the trees shook off all the old decorations of the former show, and awaited until the Blue-bird should announce.

The Great Spring Opening

OI course this May number will find some of my young friends enjoying their mid-summer fruits, while others will be rejoicing that spring has come at last, but you all know that when ever springs comes, the change from bare trees to leafy ones takes place within a very few days. To mention our exhibition once more: no doubt when you saw those pictures melt into one another in such an astonishing manner, after the first feeling of surprise was over, you said to yourself: "I should like to know how it was done."

A Stocking Bag

The materials required are one yard of cretonne, one stick of dress braid, six small brass rings, one-quarter of a yard of elastic, and some bits of flannel. Cut six pieces of pasteboard five inches by six, rounding the two lower corners. These are to be covered with cretonne, and each pair overhanded together. From the remainder of this half yard of cretonne cut the pocket for the mending yarn, etc., in the same shape, but of the full size of material left. The remaining half yard is for the large bag for the unmended stockings. The elastic gathers the top of the pocket.
To put together, sew one inch of the ends, of both large bag and pocket, to the top of the sides of one pasteboard, and full the rest on around. Join the opposite ed of large bag to another pasteboard; the selvedges now form the top of the bag

Oatmeal and Barley

I have heard many say that they soon tire of oatmeal. This is owing to the common mode of preparing it. There is a better way. Get the best of the coarsest oatmeal. After it is free from any impurities it may contain, it is ground through a small hand-mill. When ground, the meal is a little coarser than the common ground corn meal (not the bolted.) Take of this meal one pint, and one pint of cold water, and mix in the kettle in which it is to be cooked. It must be thoroughly mixed, with no lumps left in it. Pour three pints of boiling water over the mixture. Salt to suit the taste. Then place it on the top of a moderately hot stove, and boil from one to two hours. When cooked it is poured into an earthen dish and allowed to cool before using. Either a porcelain or granite iron kettle is better for the purpose than iron. As such starchy food burns easily, it is well to elevate the kettle a little. I usually prepare such food in the forenoon, while other cooking is in process, and have it ready for breakfast the following morning. In using pearl barley I grind and prepare it in the same way. As a diet for children it cannot be surpassed. Finely ground oatmeal, or at least something that bears that name, can be had at almost any grocery store, but it is often adulterated. When the coarse meal is obtained and ground at home, it is known to be pure.


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