Cheryl Kaufenberg is a retired secondary teacher who enjoys traveling as well as photography, music, theatre arts, and crafts.  A friend asked her to write about the Korn Kurl because his high school English teacher had told him he would never be a successful writer himself!

By This Author

Image of the Feed Grinder from the Patent

OBJECT HISTORY: Clair Mathews' Feed Grinder

In a moment of rural ingenuity inspired by a mortar and pestle Mathews saw at a Beloit drugstore, Clair Mathews decided to make his own mill.

Feed Grinder with corn colettes coming out

The Flakall Corporation

Flakall Corporation was formed in 1933. Clair Mathews became the corporation’s first president, while Clarence Schwebke served as the secretary and treasurer, Harry Adams the corporation’s Wisconsin agent, and his son, Allan Adams, the first salesman.

Korn Kurl bag from a 1949 advertisement

From Cow Feed to Korn Kurl

By the mid-1930s, the Flakall Corporation was trying to build up a customer base for its machine, a version of the feed grinder initially designed and built by Clair Mathews. As it turned out, the machine would end up being more useful for snack food manufacturers than farmers.

Sholes & Glidden typewriter developed by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and marketed c. 1874.
Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, ID 1964.31.

OBJECT HISTORY: Sholes & Glidden Typewriter

Sholes wanted to invent a machine which would print letters and words thus his interest in inventing a “type writer” came into being. Together the Sholes, Soule, and Glidden submitted their version of a typewriter for a patent on June 3, 1868.

Portrait of Christopher Latham Sholes posing at a typewriter, n.d., Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, ID 3218.

Christopher Latham Sholes

Sholes managed Madison’s Enquirer paper for a time; and in 1860 he became editor of both the Milwaukee News and the Milwaukee Sentinel, a position that he gave up during the Civil War when President Lincoln appointed him as collector of the Port of Milwaukee.

Origins of the QWERTY Keyboard

The QWERTY keyboard appeared on the first Remington typewriters produced and sold in 1848.[ii] It is commonly thought that Sholes designed his typewriter keyboard to keep the machine from jamming. But, this may not be the real reason for the layout.