Boone County Historical Society collection. Donated by Barbara Esterly. Restored by David Sapp.
The Enterprise Manufacturing Company was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1864 near Independence Hall and quickly grew to a huge operation producing everything from barn-door bolts to seven-foot-high, motorized coffee mills weighing almost 500 pounds. The company was awarded the Centennial Medal in 1876 for their outstanding contributions to the American public.
The rare Model No. 12-1/2 mill from our collection was designed for grinding larger amounts of coffee in stores. It was manufactured between 1886 and 1898, stood 42" high, had 25" diameter wheels and weighed about 140 pounds. All of the main components are of cast iron. Such mills, when they could be afforded, were status symbols in general stores around the nation.
The mill shown here was restored and exhibits most of the decorations used originally. The patriotic theme is obvious with the flag red and flag blue colors dominating coupled with an eagle/flag decal on the main body and the eagle finial on top. Gold paint was used liberally to give a rich impression. Elaborate flower motifs adorned the wheels. Four additional ornate decorations were on the sides of the hopper but have so far not been able to be reproduced due to the rarity of the design.