Historic Tools of North Castle

Flail (2)

These tools at Smith’s Tavern are flails.

A flail is an agricultural tool used for threshing, the process of separating grains from their husks.  It was usually made from two or more large sticks attached by a short chain; one stick is held and swung, causing the other (the swipple) to strike a pile of grain, loosening the husks. The precise dimensions and shape of flails were determined by generations of farmers to suit the particular grain they were harvesting.

Flails have generally fallen into disuse in many nations because of the availability of technologies such as combine harvesters that require much less manual labor. But in many places, such as Minnesota, wild rice can only be harvested legally using manual means, specifically through the use of a canoe and a flail that is made of smooth, round wood no more than 30 inches long.


Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flail

Catalog Items:

Item T161

Location:Floor, Panel 1
Length: 250 cm
Width: 7 cm
Height: 36 cm
Weight: 1650 g