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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Comb Foundation Mill

    I found an A.I. Root wax comb foundation mill in the beekeeping supply room of an old family hardware store. I was helping them go through their new-old stock when I happened upon the machine.

    The store is relocating after being at its present location - a former wool mill - since 1929. They've stocked beekeeping equipment since at least the late 1930's.

    I worked there as a boy in the 1970's and that's where I developed an interest in beekeeping. That interest laid dormant until 4 years ago because upon graduating high school I enlisted in the military and made it a career - I wasn't in one location long enough to pursue beekeeping. I came "home" 12 years ago but it took me 8 just to figure out I didn't have to "relocate" anymore... At that point, an experienced (old-timer) beekeeper took me "under his wing" for a few years and now this is my first year flying solo. I started my first 6 hives in May '12. I harvested no honey last summer or fall and 3 of my 6 hives were destroyed by bear(s) around the time of Super Storm Sandy. No, I didn't have an electric fence at that location. My other 3 are inside an electric fence. I know that has nothing to do with the wax mill but I guess since this is my first post, a brief introduction was in order.

    But back to the mill, I know it was manufactured by the A.I. Root Co because there's an envelope in it's storage crate containing a wax foundation sample. The envelope has the company's name and some basic operating instructions printed on it.

    The mill weighs about 58 pounds and has 10 1/2" steel (?) rollers. The cells appear round rather than hexagonal and, if I measured correctly, there appears to be "five cells to the inch" (about 5.1 mm?). Again, if I measured correctly.

    The mill looks like it was lightly used but there is some very minor surface rust on the gears. It's quite something to see.

    I did take some pictures but can't figure out how to attach/upload them. I'll be happy to attach them if someone can offer help on the procedure.

    I did find an 1896 Root catalog through an internet search and the mill - or one which strongly resembles, or was a forerunner to the one I found - is briefly described. Cost: a whopping $24.00

    I've been benefiting from this site for about a year and I know there's a wealth of skill, knowledge and experience shared in this forum - I'm hoping someone may be able to tell me a little (or a lot) more about this piece of beekeeping history.

    If I can figure out how to post the pictures, I'll put up some pics of other curious equipment and wooden ware that I've found ... 11" brood boxes...

    Thanks in advance - Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Default Re: Comb Foundation Mill

    Welcome Frank, and thank you for your service!

    I'm retired from the Air Force too. Seeing that mill in a store where you spent time as a youth must be nostalgic. I kept bees for about eight years on active duty, but I had to farm them out to the edge of town. Didn't see much day to day activity of the hives, but did learn the basics.

    To post a picture, click on the third button left of the "ABC" spell check button and follow the prompts to upload from your computer. Keep 'em flying Frank
    Last edited by Lburou; 02-21-2013 at 08:48 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,062

    Default Re: Comb Foundation Mill

    Frank there is a commerical beek call sign roland and I think he collects old foundation mills. I retired after 24 working minuteman. Then did some civil service. Welcome

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Comb Foundation Mill

    Hello Lee and Vance! Thank you for the welcome and your service to our country as well!

    Thanks Rader Sidetrack for the photo-bucket tip - I followed your instructions...

    http://s1320.beta.photobucket.com/us...77237.gif.html

    Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Comb Foundation Mill

    Nice find
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Comb Foundation Mill

    "I'm hoping someone may be able to tell me a little (or a lot) more about this piece of beekeeping history."

    Any wax comb foundation mill historians/experts who know about this...?

    Frank

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