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