Apples were a staple in the diet of 19th-century Americans which resulted in the invention of countless mechanisms to lighten household tasks. A flood of labor-saving kitchen tools such as this Reading Hardware Company Turntable Apple Parer or Peeler patented in 1877.
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Such “turnable,” cast-iron, table-mounted apple parers operated as lathes, their gear-driven rotary mechanisms turned with cranks. The lathe device rotated the fruit while a floating arm with a cutting blade rode over it and peeled off the skin. The lathe drove through the center of the apple to remove the core. The cutting edge could slice fruit into long spiral sections for pies and applesauce. Some turntable models also pushed the fruit off the lathe when paring was complete.
1. About The Culinary Curiosity
The Culinary Curiosity Exhibit comprises more than 200 objects drawn from the personal collections of Mel and Janet Mickevic, veterans of the food processing industry. Both the virtual and the physical exhibitions at Chicago’s Kendall College represent the Mickevics’ passion for, and deep understanding of, the processes used to prepare food.