Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 16 Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 16

The Cambridge region has a colorful and interesting history conveyed by the objects that have survived through the years and find their way into the numerous area antique shops. Here we meet Jack Metzger, the proprietor of one such establishment, a man with many stories to show and tell through the artifacts of those bygone days.

1850’s Millstone Crank This implement is fashioned from “tiger maple” (Acer Rubrum, Red Maple), which is a very desirable and durable wood (weighing in at 3.3 Lbs. per Board Foot). There would be two millstones, one on top of the other and a hopper above them where you would pour your grain in. Jack explains, “You would have a gentleman, usually two of them, one on each side of the stones, pushing against this crank, walking around, walking around grinding the grain.” This was a time when manpower was put to use as much as horses, goats and dogs, and later, and on larger scales, water, electricity and oil. Jack marvels at the rich patina of the wood, where years of human hands can be witnessed as a deep rich polish on this curious millstone crank.

Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.


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