Interview with Oliver Collins, 1972 July 6-7 [audio]

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  • Learning the miller's trade
    Partial Transcript: "I learned the millers trade..." "I had two sawmills in the 20s..."
    Synopsis: Collins is hard to understand. He talks about learning his trade as a miller. He says that he had a sawmill. He explains that he worked in and owned multiple mills. He talks about how a mill works. He talks about maintaining the gears in a mill.
    Keywords: Flours; Gears; Maintenance; Milling; Trades
  • Milling jobs in Wilmington; Rodents living in mills; Taking care of grindstones; Running the mill
    Partial Transcript: "Oh yeah, corn, wheat, rye, and oats..."
    Synopsis: Collins details some of the materials he has milled while living and working in the area near Wilmington, Del. Collins talks about rodents living in the mills. He talks about how fast a mill can turn and says that his went at a speed of 90 rpm, but he had seen mills go as fast as 150 rpm. Collins talks about taking care of his mill's grindstones. Collins describes what happened when a main bought grain to his mill to be made into animal feed.
    Keywords: Animal feed; Corn; Flour; Mill stones; Milling; Oats; Rodents; Rye; Wheat; Wilmington, Del.
  • Mill between Landenberg, Pa. and Newark, Del.; Different kinds of mills; Running a mill and earning money
    Partial Transcript: "All that was left was that old Quaker meeting house..."
    Synopsis: Collins talks about a mill that used to stand on White Clay Creek between Landenberg Pa. and Newark, Del. Collins explains the differences between a gristmill and a flour mill. He talks about different kinds of mills. He talks about running a mill and how he earned money from it. He recalls some anecdotes about running a mill and talks about some of his machinery.
    Keywords: Landenberg, Pa; Money; Newark, Del.; Wages; White Clay Creek
  • Operating a mill; Grinding grain for animal feed
    Partial Transcript: "That gear is original..."
    Synopsis: Collins explains how his mill worked. He talks about how the machinery works and pays attention to maintaining gears. He talks about grinding grain for animal feed.
    Keywords: Animal feed; Gears; Machinery; Mills; Waterwheels; Wood
  • Exploding flour mills and grain elevators; Building a grain elevator; Cider mill
    Partial Transcript: "Dust explosions, I never had any, but grain elevators...they were bad..."
    Synopsis: Collins talks about the danger of explosions. He says that he's never had an explosion at his mill, but he has seen grain elevators explode. He talks about some close calls that he has had with explosions and fire. He talks about building a grain elevator. He talks about a dilapidated cider mill on his property.
    Keywords: Accidents; Explosions; Grain elevators; Mills; Risk