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Object Name Mill, Fanning
Alternate Name Fanning Mill
Date ca. 1800
Description Fanning mill (winnowing machine), used for cleaning grain. Made of wood, wrought iron, and leather. A large wooden housing contains a rotating fan and a wire screen, and has a feeder opening in the top. An iron crank handle, large wooden gear wheel, and smaller iron cage gear mounted on the exterior would activate the interior mechanism. The housing consists of wooden planks in a mortise-and-tenon frame, a curved front end constructed from bent wood over horizontal strips, an open back end, and four plain feet. The side planks are set vertically and have scalloped lower edges. Inside the housing, below the square feeder opening, is a vertical tray, attached by leather straps, which could swing horizontally during operation.
(Keywords: New York)
Acquisition Museum Purchase from Mr. Frederick Keteltas
Ownership and History Staten Island Historical Society records indicate that when it was acquired in 1935 from Mr. Frederick Keteltas, this piece of farm machinery had been in the Merrell family for more than 100 years. Its function was to separate the grain from the chaff, a process known as winnowing, by blowing air through poured grain after it had been threshed.

Mr. Keteltas was the son of Jane (Merrell) and John S. Keteltas. His maternal grandparents were Egbert Merril and Mary (Jones) Merril of Northfield, Staten Island (the family name is seen with alternate spellings Merrell, Merrill, and Merril). The Merrell and Keteltas families were both involved in fishing and farming on Staten Island for generations.
Earliest Date 1790
Latest Date 1820
Maker Merrell family, Northfield, Staten Island
Subjects Agriculture
Agricultural machinery & implements
Lexicon Sub-category Agricultural T&E
Catalog Number A23.0057
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.