Levi Van Hoesen (1800-1866), a farmer, blacksmith, and inventor from New Haven, Connecticut, was granted letters patent for a, "Machine For Paring and Slicing Apples" on December 4, 1855. Van Hoesen stated his inventive claim in the following way, "The combination of a paring with a slicing machine, when constructed and combined substantially as herein described that is, with an arrangement whereby the fork carrying the apple, may be turned so as alternately to be brought into play with the paring knife, and with the slicing wheel, being at the same time thrown into gear in the former case, and out of gear in the latter."
Van Hoesen's oldest daughter, Mary Van Hoesen (1835-1917), served as a witness for his letters patent. Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer is a marvel of engineering and was made by multiple manufacturers (Lambert, 2017; Viney, 2017). While different manufacturers used slightly different designs and sizes for their versions of Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer, they all followed the basic patented design (Lambert, 2017).
Figure for Levi Van Hoesen's 1855 Apple Parer and Slicer Patent Application, National Archives at College Park, Cartographic Branch, 241-PATENTUT-13891.
Matthew Sault (1818-1900), a machinist from New Haven, Connecticut stenciled his version of Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer with:
NEW HAVEN, CT.
It is not known at this time how Sault advertised his parer. Thomas Sault (1819-1912) partnered with his brother in 1863 and the business name was changed to M & T Sault as indicated by New Haven city directories. Matthew Sault apparently made these parers between late 1855 and 1863.
David F. Randall (1825-1869) of Chicopee, Massachusetts stenciled his version of Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer with:
PARING & SLICING
D. F. RANDALL
PATENTED DEC. 1855
Randall's version of Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer is by far the most aesthetically pleasing.
I photographed another verion of Van Hoesen's apple parer and slicer at an antique show in Denver that had a paper label with an engraved image of the machine. It also included the following information:
Yankee Paring & Slicing Machine,
TENNEY & FRENCH,
LEVI VAN HOESEN'S
Patent Machine for
Paring, Coring, and Slicing Apples.
Town and County rights for sale on reasonable terms.
No further information about Tenney & French has been found to date.
We know multiple versions of Levi Van Hoesen's patented apple parer and slicer were advertised as the "Yankee." The term "Yankee" is used in mulitiple ways to refer to people from the United States. It seems an appropriate name for an ingeniously desinged apple parer and slicer invented by a Connecticut resident.
Lambert, J. The 1855 Yankee and M. Sault: An Aesthetic Paring of Wood and Iron. The International Society of Apple Parer Enthusiasts, August 2017, Issue 106.
National Archives at College Park, Cartographic Branch, 241-PATENTUT-13891.
Van Hoesen, L., inventor; 1855 Dec. 4. Apple Parer and Slicer. US13891.
Viney, M. Levi Van Hoesen's Patented Apple Parer and Slicing Machine. The International Society of Apple Parer Enthusiasts, August 2017, Issue 106.