Oliver Evans - America's First Great Industrial Inventor
Oliver Evans (1755 - 1819), one of the early industrial revolutions inventive genius,
changed American typical pre-Colonial grist mills. He was born in
Newport, Delaware in 1755. He from a young age was continually
experimenting with labor saving devices and new uses for gears. Evans greatest accomplishment was the automated flour mill.
His system of elevators, and descenders moved grain through several
stories of the mill. He also devised a system of horizontal movers,
with the endless screw, and an exceedingly original improvement, the
hopper-boy, a revolving rake, spreader and cooler, used in drying
and cooling of flour and meal.
His genius was acknowledged by George Washington, and Thomas
Jefferson who commissioned Evans to build and install machinery in
Evans connected the milling process into one continuous system from
cleaning reels and fans to rectilinear bolters (reels).
The Evans system continued the demand for white, refined, keep-able
flour and prevented dishonest grist millers from adulterating brown
flour with sawdust.