Grist Mill
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American, about 1845
2 3/8 x 2 15/16 in.

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At this grist mill, grain was turned into flour and logs were cut into lumber with sawing machinery, seen here at the right rear of the mill. This detailed view depicts black and white people working together, farm animals including a rooting sow with her nursing piglets at the front center, and various pieces of farming machinery.

Although the photographer is unknown, the scene is not entirely anonymous: a hand-written note attached to the daguerreotype case describes this scene as the "Flour Mill where Willard Calkins learned his trade." The note also identifies the man dressed in white in the doorway as Calkins. This daguerreotype provides a rich glimpse into the commercial life of an American village in the early 1850s.