Posted 4 years ago
Or at least that's what I've always understood this thing was supposed to be, because that's what Mom always called it. (I don't know why, but it doesn't seem illogical?) She is the one that actually got it someplace (I also have no idea where, nor when) and cleaned/painted its metal parts, sometime right abouts the same time I myself came into her and Dad's life...it (like me) then continued to hang around the house someplace (serving as a plant stand, shoved off to one side of the garage, or whatever?) during my entire childhood/etc., until it ended up getting advertised (and pictured) as 'for sale' in their downsizing auction last summer. (thus, I couldn't re-appropriate it beforehand <groan>) I think the auctioneers were intrigued with it too...the auction Co. owner and I talked about it briefly after the sale and he shared that he'd also tried to research what it was, with absolutely zero results. Oh and BTW, yes I did actually *buy* it (back) at the sale for just $25 or so, once the only other bidder (actually one of my distant cousins) realized he was bidding against me and quit...thank you cousin David... ;-) :-)
But back to the machine. It is a mostly wooden framed 'chute-shaped' thing, standing about 3' tall and slightly under 4' long. Turning the heavy cast iron crank handle causes the pair of wooden roller drums fitted with meshing metal 'knives' (? guessing they might have once been sharper than they now are??) to rotate around together via iron gear teeth on their ends, both rollers and the crank being fixed in a cast iron frame. There might have been something else mounted just outside of the rollers on two 'studs' which unexplainedly are also cast into the frame. There are absolutely no marks or maker's info on it.
It, again 'as I understand it, without any factual basis whatsoever', was something used in the late 1800's-early 1900's, when hemp was only a simple cash-crop (like cotton or wheat or whatever) with many very practical uses. (making rope, for example...) Before the "reefer madness" craze (1940's ish) which kinda turned "hemp" into (SCARY!!! BE AFRAID!!! BE VERY AFRAID!!!) "mar-i-ju-wanna" <sigh> the stuff grew by the fields-ful in the middle USA. (and still does in some places, waiting to be discovered by corn de-tasseling crews, maybe, who then gain nothing but major headaches if they try to smoke it...but that's all more total conjecture of course...?)
This thing was supposedly used to break up the stalks of the hemp plant into a more raw form of 'fiber' which would in turn become something else -- rope or fabric or paper or whatever. Indeed it seems like it would quite thoroughly "chew up" whatever would get fed into it...??
And one way or the other, especially since "medical marijuana" is soon coming to The Natural State, this just seemed like "a thing" which would be fun to still keep hanging around, now at my house instead of my folks'. :-) If anybody knows or recognizes *anything* about this, I'd SO VERY MUCH love to hear your thoughts?!!!