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This morning I ran into a great article over on American Artifacts about old hand-style corn shellers.  The disk sheller pictured above, for instance, represents 19th and early 20th century machine power before the addition of modern mechanized corn separation.  Someone (or a group of someones) would run each ear of corn through the hole at the top and crank it through the gears to separate the kernels from the cob.

It’s often difficult to remember that this rig was considered high tech at the time.  It replaced tools like these:


Admittedly, I much prefer the large all-in-one combines that roam the bread-basket fields of America today to the old push-and-crank approach of days past, but those old tools are still facinating reminders of early-American mechanical genius and innovation.

Hand Held Corn Shellers [American Aritifacts]


8 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Old School Corn Shellers

  1. Randy says:

    I wish I had something along these lines to grind up pinecones. I pick up literally hundreds a year around my house (it’s hard on the mower to mow them up). They make a very nice mulch when chopped up, but it is just too much effort to do it with a pair of garden shears.

  2. Sylvia Barkley says:

    If you are interested in buying one (or several), my sister has several that she’s wanting to sell. She does not have an e-mail address, but I’ll be glad to provide the info. Just let me know.

  3. barb berner says:

    we have a crank mccormick deering corn scheller

  4. Gwen Campbell says:

    Ah, memories… I used one of these as a teen – maybe 35 years ago… Not sure if my parents still have it on the farm or not. I’ll have to ask.

  5. JC Flow says:

    I would like to get my hands on this type of tool. Who has some for sale? heres my email jcf5891@hotmail.com

  6. Jim Cox says:

    This looks great!!!!
    I need one to shell my popcorn.
    Does anyone know where i can get a sheller to hand shell popcorn.

  7. Blake mcIntosh says:

    looking for a corn sheller with cabinet with turn handle

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