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Report on Mr. L.E. Denison's Corn Sheller

The Committee on Science and the Arts constituted by the Franklin Institute of the state of Pennsylvania, for the promotion of the mechanic arts, to whom was referred for examination a corn sheller, invented by Mr. L.E. Denison, of Sayville, Middlesex county, Connecticut, Report:

That the peculiarity of this machine consists in the mode of feeding and retaining the ears of corn in contact with the shelling cylinder. The feeding is effected by surrounding the cylinder with a case, termed by the inventor, a revolving concentric cylindrical rest.

This case is formed of a number of bars or staves, the ends of which are mortised into the peripheries of two circular heads. The staves are placed at sufficient distance apart to admit an ear of corn between them, and the diameter of the case is such that the stave just clears the pins or teeth of the shelling cylinder within it. The cylinder and its case both revolve on a common center, and in the same direction, the cylinder making about ten revolutions to one of the case. Beneath the case is a series of metal bands surrounding about one half its circumference, and pressed against the stave by spiral springs. This is termed the segment concave. It is divided into sections which are independent of each other, so that ears of different size may follow in immediate succession without difficulty.

The ears of corn are placed parallel to the axis of the shelling cylinder in a hopper fixed on one side of the machine. As the cylindrical rest revolves, an ear falls into each space between the staves, and is kept in contact with the shelling cylinder by the pressure of the segment concave. The grain shelled falls beneath the machine and the cob is delivered at the side opposite to the hopper, after having been in contact with the cylinder during four or five revolutions.

The arrangement of this machine is different from any that has before fallen under the notice of the committee, and although it may seem somewhat complicated at first view, a further inspection will show that it is as simple in construction as many other analogous machines. Its operation, in the presence of some members of the Institute was highly satisfactory; the cobs were thrown out whole and divested of every grain, and the power requisite to keep it in action was less than in many other machines heretofore in use. As this invention appears to be both new and useful, the committee believe it to be a proper object for an award of the Scott Legacy premium, and recommend such award under the usual condition.
By order of the Committee.
William Hamilton, Actuary
October 10, 1839

Reprinted from the Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1839.
The Illustration is from the U.S. Patent granted to Lester Denison, Aug 12, 1839

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