Grain from corn has many uses including making bread, beer and feeding to animals. But first, the grain has to be extracted from the straw and chaff, This is called ‘threshing’.
Hundreds of years ago, people used to thresh corn by beating by hand. This was a very time consuming and tiring job.
During the reign of Queen Victoria the threshing drum was invented, allowing the threshing process to be completed much more quickly. The threshing drum in the photographs below and in the video, was made by Hornsby and is over a hundred years old.
Periodically, Church Farm Museum in Skegness re-creates the whole process exactly as it would have been in Victorian times.
The images depict the sequence of the process, and the video shows not only the machines in action, but the sounds that the steam engine and thresher made.…
This steam engine which powered the whole process was made pre world war 1 in 1909.
There is an interview with Paul Copeland, the Engine Master in the video, where he tells us more about the engine.
Once fired up, the steam engine drives a belt which is attached to the thresher.
Farm workers feed the harvested corn, fresh from the fields, into the top of the threshing machine.
The thresher separates the corn grains from the chaff and the hay.
The grains of corn are collected in a bucket….
….and the hay is ejected from the back of the machine.
A farm worker then collects the hay and loads it onto the blades of the baler.
The rotating blades draw the straw in…..
…..and neatly formed bales are produced at the back. These bales are then trained onto a cart where another farm worker stacks them neatly, ready for dispatch.
above: diagram of the threshing drum
below: Videos of the Victorian Steam Thresher in action