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Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers, pumps and antiquities of the industrial revolution.

Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles

Broom Making at the 2018 International Plowing Match


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  #1  
Old 09-30-2018, 10:27:21 AM
Ric Murphy Ric Murphy is offline
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Default Broom Making at the 2018 International Plowing Match

I recently had the opportunity to display some of my collection at the 2018 International Plowing Match. For those not familiar with the IPM, it's an annual 5 day event held in a different county each year here in Ontario, Canada. The origins of the match date back over 100 years. One of the items I was specifically requested to bring and demonstrate was my broom making equipment. In 2009 I purchased a foot powered broom machine from a friends estate sale. The machine had been salvaged from the Wilson Broom Co in Ridgetown, Ontario after the factory was destroyed by fire in 1980. Lorne Harris restored the machine shortly before his death. He was able to display the restored machine at a few shows but never made a broom with it. After purchasing the machine I started researching broom making and took apart a number of old brooms to figure out how they were made. At first I used wheat straw which is a terrible material for brooms. I only attended one local show per year and would take the brooms apart after each show and reuse the handles. 3 or 4 years ago I found a source for broom corn and began using that. By this time my broom quality improved enough that I began selling what I made at the show. Last year I attended the East Kent Vintage Equipment Club's show in Ridgetown and made brooms there for the first time since 1980. I also met a man by the name of John Wright who was the second last owner of the Wilson Broom Co. He has shared a tremendous amount of broom making skills with me as well as a ton of information on the company itself. He also makes brooms with me whenever he's around. After 40 years he still makes a broom almost as well as he did at the factory. The pictures below are from the IPM. The equipment consists of the broom machine to attach the broom corn to the handle, a broom clamp to flatten and hold the broom for sewing and a cutter box to trim the end of the broom. The 3 pieces are mounted to a 4' x 8' skid for easy moving with a fork lift. When I'm not making brooms I leave a broom at each station with a display card explaining each step of the process. Behind the equipment I have a table containing a number of items that were also salvaged after the fire along with some broom making literature. I made more brooms during the IPM then I have in the last 9 years!
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:39:08 AM
Mike Rock Mike Rock is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

Ric,
Thank you for putting that display together. It makes the process so clear.

God bless.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:01:53 AM
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Motormowers Motormowers is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

I would love to see a video of that process.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:02:42 AM
Ric Murphy Ric Murphy is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

I met John Wright last year on the Sat of the Ridgetown show. After spending the afternoon making brooms together and chatting, he told me he had a couple items at home that I might like. The following morning I spotted him walking the grounds with something under each arm. When I walked over to say good morning, he handed me the sign in the picture below. He proceeded to tell me that it used be on the door of his work truck. One day he got out of the truck and noticed it was gone. He backtracked everywhere he had been that day looking for it with no luck. 20 years later at a yard sale he found the sign and bought it back. He had kept it all these years. After meeting me, he decided it belonged with the broom machine and gave it me. All he asked was that I make a case for it and display it with broom machine. How could say no to that offer.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:05:22 AM
Ric Murphy Ric Murphy is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motormowers View Post
I would love to see a video of that process.
I'll work on that before I put the machine away for the season
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:14:39 AM
Ric Murphy Ric Murphy is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

In Johns other hand was a newspaper from the day after the Wilson Broom factory burnt. He had kept 3 copies of the paper all these years. Prior to meeting John, I knew very little about the broom factory. Between the newspaper and Johns many stories I'm able to share this info with spectators at the shows I attend.
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:48:28 PM
Ric Murphy Ric Murphy is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

For anyone interested in the process, I recommend this video. Bob not only makes great quality brooms, he also does a good job of explaining the process. This is the best video I've found and I must have watched it 100 times while learning how to make brooms.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwVKrRHDFmg&app=desktop
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:39:02 PM
Scotty 2 Scotty 2 is offline
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 IPM

Hello all
Broom making is one of those things that you would not believe until you've seen it.
I lived next door to a broom maker in my younger years. His name Was Rodney Herne in Lismore NSW.
He restored a broom sewing machine and made the rest of the equipment. He used millet in his brooms and brushes.
That sewing machine for the brooms was something else. You could lose an arm if you swat a fly at the wrong time.
He used to demonstrate around the shows and he made it his means of income.
Sadly Rodney lost his young life in the 90's and his wife took over the business. I should find out what's happening with her now.

Cheers Scott
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:50:35 PM
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Default Re: Broom Making at the 2018 International Plowing Match

Great display Ric


http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/th...ge/broommaker/
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