NEVER FAIL Cast Iron Corn Sheller # 8 Root-Heath Mfg.Co

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  • Item Category: Antiquities
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Aug 10, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House

NEVER FAIL Cast Iron Corn Sheller #8 / mfg. by The Root-Heath Mfg. Co. Plymouth

This is from a 150 year old farm in Minnesota

It is missing one of the original clamps a piece of metal on to make it work.

Size: 10 x 11 inches plus handle

The Root Brothers Company was founded by Clayton F. and George A. Root in Medina , Ohio , to manufacture and sell such items as shoe repair kits and horse harnesses. The business grew and ran out of space at the Medina facility. The Root brothers were buying castings from a foundry in Plymouth , a small town in north central Ohio , and heard of a two-story brick building that was standing empty near the foundry. The village of Plymouth offered the building to the Root brothers as an inducement to move their operation to Plymouth .

George A. Root opted not to make the move, selling his share to Charles E. Heath, who had married Clayton Root's daughter. The move was made in 1895, and in 1904, the Root Brothers Co. became the Root-Heath Manufacturing Company, and began building hardware items such as corn shelters, grist mills and lawn mower sharpening machines, in addition to the cobbler's tools.

Corn shellers. A catalog issued by the Fate-Root-Heath Company shortly after the 1919 merger lists four hand corn shellers. The top of the line was the R-H model, which was finished in red and gold, and had a capacity of 14 to 16 bushels per hour (I'm sure these advertised capacities had much more to do with the strength of the farmer's back and arm than with the design of the machine.). Next was the black-painted Neverfail that could shell 10 to 14 bushels each hour. Both shellers were available with or without a butting and tipping attachment. Less expensive, and lighter duty models, were the Little Giant and the Gem shellers, both of which were advertised as being capable of eight bushels per hour. A popcorn attachment was available for the Gem, while the Little Giant could be equipped with the popcorn and the butting-and-tipping attachments. No colors are listed in the catalog for the latter two shellers.

All the shellers had provisions for mounting on the edge of a wooden box or barrel. The shelled corn fell into the container, while the cobs were dropped outside. Robert Rauhauser, a keen collector of corn items, told me that at some time, F-R-H also sold a hand sheller called the Plymouth Rock, but these are seldom seen. According to Mr. Rauhauser's collection of Farm Implement News Buyers' Guides, F-R-H stopped selling corn shellers about 1924.

If sheller bears only the Root and Heath names, it was probably made between 1904 and 1919. At some time around 1913, the firm apparently was named the Heath Foundry and Manufacturing Company, so that name could appear on some shellers. If Fate is part of the name, the machine was made between 1919 and 1924.