Milton Miller was a most ingenious and enterprising individual. If he had lived in another time Milton might have become a famous inventor. Unfortunately for him, so much progress had been made by the time he was born in 1643 that inventors were somewhat obsolete.
But that wasn’t about to stop young Milton. He tinkered, and toyed and improved. He always had an idea for a new way of doing things. Some of them were quite outlandish -imagine a machine for making toast!- but some of them seemed to have an air of practicality about them. His idea to make swords out of light was a favorite with the children.
Since he couldn’t be an inventor Milton settled on the next best thing; he became the manager of the local flour mill.
Of course, Milton had a million ideas about improving the operation of the mill, some of which (putting flour into paper sacks for instance) were quite ridiculous. But the improved grinding mechanisms, the increased efficiency of the energy source and the air filtration system were all major successes for the mill.
Milton’s biggest project took years to complete, but when it was finally finished it was his pride and joy. Milton put legs on the mill, and mechanized it so that the mill could transport itself wherever flour needed to be ground. Farmers no longer needed to bring endless sacks of grain to the mill, the mill would come right to them.
No one could ever figure out how it worked. The water wheel was still over in the pond, churning away. Where did the mill’s power come from? How could it possibly move around the country, let alone grind grain without any visible source of power?
People would shake their heads in wonder as the mill waddled past.
There goes Milton’s mill, running on down the road. They would say.
To this day if people see something totally incomprehensible and beyond belief they call it “the run of the mill.”
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