J. Morton Burnham had a machine shop on Main at 2nd in Marble Falls. When I was a boy growing up in the 60s, I would pass that shop at all hours of the day and night. Mr. Burnham could be seen inside tinkered with all kinds of mechanical stuff. He rebuilt fishing reels, worked on guns, made game calls and invented a number of things.
He observed how a squirrel peeled pecans and made a sheller to replicate the way they did it so efficiently, hence the birth of the Squirrel Tooth Sheller.
It is my understanding that he produced these peelers in his shop until demand required them to be mass produced. We think the ones stamped with Marble Falls were the ones Mr. Burnham made by hand in his shop and the ones with Fort Worth were the massed produced ones.
For the ones not familiar with J. Morton Burnham, many know of his famous sons, Winston and Murray that carried on in the game calling, hunting, trapping and outdoor lifestyle that their father instilled in them.
Few visitors ever passed through Marble Falls without stopping by Burnham Brothers Sporting Goods. If for no other reason than to see the Rattlesnakes in the Big Picture Window Enclosure.
Examples of The Burnham – Squirrel Tooth Sheller
The pictures below are from the book: A Pictorial History of Marble Falls.
Below is a link to Burnham Brothers Calls, now under ownership outside the Burnham Family, but it gives a great history of this great institution started in Marble Falls and now continues on in Menard, Texas.