Connecticut Patent of the Day: Apple Cider Season

There’s a new gallon of cider in my fridge at home. Just like when I was a kid, though sometimes then it was kept in what we still call our “woodshed” which uninsulated provides a natural cooling spot for extra food and drink in our 150+ year old house. My dad liked to keep a gallon or so in the woodshed and let it age a bit, turning into a “hard-cider”. Not suitable for kids, but he sure liked it as many old-time Yankees did. I haven’t developed the taste for hard cider yet, maybe as I mellow with age…..

Anyway, sometimes we forget how important and popular a drink cider was in New England in years gone past. Sweet and hard cider was consumed in large quantities during the 18th and  19th centuries. Most homes especially those in the more rural areas would have supplies on hand to drink throughout the day. Consumed with breakfast, dinner and supper it was a common drink for all and readily available during a time when apple orchards of all sizes graced the New England landscape far more than they even do today. Of course it’s not just a matter of picking a few apples off a tree and squeezing them to get the juice! You need a lot of apples to make a good quantity of cider. And you need tools. Here’s a few Connecticut patented apple picking and pressing related inventions that helped with that job. Hard work, but the results are oh, so tasty…..

Improvement in Cider Making, 1871, George Hamlin Willimantic

George Clark, Higganum, Cider-Mill, 1882

Charles Morris, New Haven, Fruit Picker, 1901

Joseph Bottomley, Greenville, 1884, Fruit-Picker


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