A Benjamin Muley Grain Cradle, a tool manufactured in Berkley in the 1930s and used by farmers to more efficiently harvest grain, is back home where it belongs.
Jeff Tong, vice chairman of the Berkley Historical Committee, stumbled upon the artifact while touring area museums to get ideas on improving the display at the Berkley Historical Museum at 3338 Coolidge Highway, the Observer & Eccentric reports.
The transfer was made possible through the generosity of the Rochester-Avon Historical Society.
“This is something we have wanted from the very beginning because it was probably one of the most famous things to come out of Berkley,” Tong said of the piece of farm equipment that was widely used by farmers from the Atlantic to the Dakotas.
The Rochester-Avon group also donated a scythe, a tool used by farmers before the advent of the grain cradle, a long-handled scythe with a built-on cradle that caught the grain.
Until they were replaced by more modern farming equipment, the grain cradles were manufactured by John Benjamin on 80 acres of land on Woodward Avenue just north of 12 Mile Road – the current Roseland Park Cemetery and St. John’s Woods subdivision.
Some of the other artifacts on display at the museum include an old Berkley school bell and items from Vinsetta Garage, the Berkley Theater,the Berkley Fire Department and other places important in the community’s history.More information about the museum, which is open from 2-4 p.m. every Sunday, is available on the web site.