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Things To Do

Interactive Activity: Account book of Joseph Barnard

Tool Demonstration: Winnowing

Wait for the file to download, then click the arrow to play the movie.


Transcript of movie: After grain was threshed it was "winnowed"- a fanning process to remove the dust and "chaff" or seed coverings. In the earlier 18th century this would be done using a winnowing basket like the one being used by this man. As the seeds are tossed into the air, any cross breezes carry off most of the lighter dust and chaff. By the mid- 18th century hand-cranked "fanning mills" began to replace winnowing baskets. A greater amount of grain could be cleaned faster using these mills. Finally the seeds would be taken to a grist mill to be ground into flour.
Filmed at Historic Deerfield.
Note: The account book of Joseph Barnard contains references to winnowing. Follow the link at the top of this page to view the account book. The reference to winnowing is on page 85b.

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