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Elaborate Broadside for Patented Smut Machine

Pictorial broadside for a patented device. According to the extensive text, Smith's Smut Machine had garnered first prizes at Saratoga Springs Fair and the American Institute at Castle Garden, New York City. Such machines were used to clean wheat for flour production. The broadside is illustrated with two cuts showing No. 6 Smut Machine and No. 2 Smut Machine.

Smith's machine emerged at a time when the United States was on the brink of an industrial revolution, particularly in agriculture, with such devices as combines for grain crops, which mechanized four separate harvesting operations - reaping, threshing, gathering, and winnowing - into a single process. Such inventions transformed American agriculture, increasing efficiency and productivity to hitherto undreamed-of levels.

The verso of the broadside includes a handwritten note by Smith:

N.Y. July 22, 1848

N. Niles, Esq. I this day sent a box containing a new core for a Smut Machine. Price of the same core boxx $6.00. Please send by mail to me the amt. I [?] your friend. L. Smith. P.S. Box marked Nathaniel Niles, Kinderhook Depo.

The broadside for Leonard Smith's Patent Improved Ventilating Smut Machine offers a window into mid-19th-century agricultural advancements, highlighting the technological strides made in the process of refining wheat for flour production.


This broadside is very rare. OCLC cites two booklets, published in 1846 and 1847, respectively, describing Smith's machines, but not the present broadside.


Condition Description
Pictorial broadside. Old fold marks. Clean and very good. Circular postal in stamp on verso: Troy, N.Y. 23 July [1858], addressed in manuscript to Mr. Nathaniel Niles / Vallatie, Columbia Co., N.Y.