The Miller’s Reputation

Dave Burnett with millstone in front of Miller Barn, Fanshawe Pioneer Village (Photo credit: Michael Gelman)

Dave Burnett with millstone in front of Miller Barn, Fanshawe Pioneer Village (Photo credit: Michael Gelman)

This is the third in an an ongoing series of short posts by Dave Burnett, who trained as a real-life miller, and who also plays the old miller, Kelmar, in The Miller and His Men.

The Miller’s Reputation by Dave Burnett

Ten bags of wheat to the mill did not mean returning home with ten bags of flour. Several factors contributed to the inefficiency of the process, including honesty. Today, the industry is tightly regulated, but each miller and mill in the 1800s had their own standards.

Since many pioneers had limited cash, the miller would hold back some of the flour as payment for his troubles. The considerable variance in the miller’s take gave rise several decades later to our contemporary standards.

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