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Thursday, September 24, 2015

History of flour milling in United States

One of the early mill, gristmills, such as the one at Jamestown in 1621, ground corn and wheat for meal and flour help to feed the colonist while making the millers key local figures.

The vast majority of mills up to about 1800, operated as custom mills that ground the farmer’s grain for a toll in flour paid to the miller.

In the late eighteenth century Oliver Evans invented labor-saving machinery which greatly increased the productivity of flour mills.

Eastern mills that had relied on soft wheat felt competition from larger western millers based in Minneapolis and other Midwestern cities that used new machinery to grind the hard wheat that predominated in the Midwest.

As the population moved westward and grain production increased, four milling became an important industry.

As early as 1850, flour milling accounted for almost 10 percent of all industrial establishments an over 13 percent of the value of all industrial products. The milling industry became increasingly centralized.

In themed 1800s there were an estimated 25,000 mills in America; by 1900 there were only 13,000 mills, by 2000 there were a mere 1oo flour milling companies.

With an expanding rail system, flour milling could be concentrated and product shipped to markets throughout the country. By the end of the nineteenth century, American and Canadian flour exports to Britain had grown steadily.

Baltimore was the early leader in flour milling, developing a flour trade with the South, Latin America, and Europe, while Rochester and Buffalo growing in stature after completion of the Erie Canal.

The most important western milling town was St. Luis. This city with its fine river and rail transportation facilities captured markets for flour in the South and the East.
History of flour milling in United States

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