Hampshire Mills Group



Back Up Next

Page 6

Newsletter 85, Summer 2009 © Hampshire Mills Group




Our Chairman, Mick Edgeworth, has been  making good use of the Inter Library Loan Service to borrow three American books  and here he shares his thoughts on them. 

  The Development of the Flour-Milling Industry in the United States by Charles B. Kuhlmann (with special reference to the industry in Minneapolis.)  1973 edition 349 pages hardback ISBN 0678009325 Published by Augustus M. Kelly also reprinted in 1980.  This is a reprint of the 1929 edition.  The first edition was published in 1895.  Part of the Library of early American business and industry.

  This book details the flour milling industry of the U.S.A. from its earliest beginnings with stones and its spread westwards with rollers as further states were settled.  It is illuminating to note how the cleaning and sieving machinery, which we take for granted today, was developed in the search for white flour.  It is also noteworthy to see how the spring grown wheat, with its higher gluten content, and therefore better bread making qualities, had to be treated so differently from winter grown wheat, and in order to cope with it, the corresponding development of machinery.

  Remembering that this book is written from the viewpoint of 1929, it contains facts which more modern books would no doubt leave out.  A slightly laboured read, due to its concentration on the details of competing mills, but well worth investing the £1.50 to obtain such a fund of interesting information from the Inter-Library Loan Service.  This book will probably never appear in the HMG Library as it does not currently appear for sale on the internet - and when it does it is bound to be expensive.


  Wheat Flour Milling by Elieser S. Posner & Arthur N. Hibbs   341 pages hardback ISBN 0913250937  Published 1997 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists.

  The preface states:  This is a book about milling ‘written by millers’ - and it shows by excellent grasp of the subject as it details all of the processes required in a modern wheat flour mill.  I can do no better than give the chapter headings to show the extent of the processes it covers:

Wheat: the raw material; Experimental & Laboratory Mills; Wheat Storage & Blending; Wheat Cleaning & Conditioning; Grinding Process; Purification Process;, Mill Management; Flour Handling & Blending; Milling of Soft & Durum Wheats; Air in the Flour Milling Industry. Mill Maintenance.

  Not only did I enjoy reading this book, but, I found that I could understand it! No doubt due to my education in the roller milling process by our member, Patrick Appleby.  Of course, some of the mathematical calculations were well beyond me but I felt that I could understand what the authors were telling me. Seldom have I seen such good, clear descriptions, with excellent diagrams, of the machines used.  It is a pity that most of the suggested reading is from bulletins of American sources, which may be difficult to obtain.   It is good to have an appreciation of the complexities of how modern flour is produced.  This is the most modern book that I know of on this subject; it sets the standard for any future books. 

  Again, this is a book I would dearly like to own, or at least have it in the HMG Library.  However, at a current price of £177.63 + p&p from the U.S.A., I will just have to invest £1.50 from time to time to borrow from the Inter-Library Loan Service.


 The History of Grinding by Alban J. Lynch & Chester A. Rowland.  207 soft cover ISBN 0873352386 Published 2005 by Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc., Colorado.

  When I saw this book advertised, I jumped at the chance to obtain a read via the Inter-Library Loan Service.  Judging by the date stamped inside, it was ordered just for me; four months was well worth the wait! 

Ever since a visit to North Wales (probably on an Edwin Course educational trip many years ago) when I saw what I took to be waste slate being loaded onto a ship, I have been intrigued by this subject.  I enquired what it was to be used for and was told “for use as a filler in cosmetics and other products”.  I wondered what machines were used to grind it so finely but never really pursued the matter. 

  Well, after reading this book, I know.  It is a superior read, and, apart from some of the photographs and diagrams being a little difficult to work out, it covers the subject as stated in the title, excellently.

  I had not realised that although the corrugated rollers, as used in roller mills for grains, was invented in 1558, due to the lack of appropriate technology, had to wait 300 years to be fully employed.  Grain milling is covered quite well, but, the information has to be picked out from the other industrial uses since the chapters are grouped under the machine types.  Machines in their many forms are used in mining processes and are well covered.

  This book’s appearance in my library will have to wait as the cheapest I can find on the internet is £66.89 + p&p; so, I will just have to invest in the Inter-Library Loan Service from time to time.

Back Up Next



horizontal rule

Copyright © 2024 Hampshire Mills Group
Registered as a Charity - 1116607