Stripper, Flax

A flax stripper with two cast iron drums mounted on a long axle. The larger drum has raised rims with raised flanges between them forming a zig-zag pattern. The smaller drum has a smooth surface and was hooked up to drive a belt.
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This flax stripper was originally used at Rutherford's Flax Mill on Lower Parihaka Road in Pungarehu. The flax stripper is a peculiarly New Zealand invention. Harakeke (New Zealand flax) is not even remotely related to European flax, so totally new methods and machinery had to be invented to produce fibre from harakeke. The revolving barrel of the stripper hammered the flax against the beater bar. This removed the green surface from the leaves. Maori did the same thing by hand-painstakingly scraping the green surface with a mussel shell.
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