Two patents and one reissue granted to Asahel G. Batchelder of Lowell, Massachusetts are associated with the Reading 2B slow return parer. Batchelder was granted his first patent for "Improvement in Apple-Parers" on March 2, 1869. The letters patent illustrate a turntable parer; however, his inventive claim was not for the parer, it was for a push-off mechanism,
"The nature of my invention consists in providing a suitable device for apple-parers, whereby, after the apple has been pared, it will remove the same from the fork, superseding the necessity of removing the same by hand."
Batchelder was granted a reissue for this patent on May 17, 1870. These two patents are embossed on the 2B parer.
Batchelder was granted a second patent for an "Improved Machine for Paring Fruit and Vegetables" on June 7, 1870,
"My invention has reference to mechanism for returning or restoring to its position, to commence the paring of an apple, fruit, or vegetable, the knife, immediately after an apple, fruit, or vegetable may have been pared. Instead of the knife-carrier having a continuous rotary motion imparted to it, it has a reciprocating rotary motion, and is not retracted by a spring, as in other machines, but is returned by a mechanism which restores it to place without any such concussion as generally results when a spring is employed."
Ironically, this is the patent for the slow return mechanism, but it does not appear on the parer.
It is not uncommon for the delicate push-off mechaism to be broken on these machines; still, the smooth return mechanism is a wonder to watch. It is important to be familiar with the motion of a parer before you try using it to pare an apple. Make sure you understand at what position the machine must be in to load the apple. If during paring the machine gets hung up and you feel the need to power through---STOP. These machines were made to work smoothly and will break easily if used incorrectly.
Batchelder, A. G., inventor, Improvement in Apple-Parers, 1869 March 2. US87332.
Batchelder, A. G., inventor, Improved Apple-Parer, 1870 May 17. USRE3970.
Batchelder, A. G., inventor, Improved Machine for Paring Fruit and Vegetables, 1870 June 7. US103830.
Reading Hardware Works (1870). Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of the Reading Hardware Works. Philadelphia: Jas. B. Chandler. Accessed 8 May 2020, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nnc2.ark:/13960/t2v46vs4b