On any given day you can find a dozen or more Rocking Table Apple Parers for sale on eBay. The majority of these parers are either marked as manufactured by C. E. Hudson or by Hudson Paring Company and carry a patent date of January 24, 1882. In fact, the Rocking Table Apple Parer was initially sold and later patented by F. W. Hudson (Hudson, 1882).
Frederick Willard Hudson (1818-1897) established the family apple parer business in 1868 with his own patents after he left the employment of Lockey and Howland (Emerson, 1888, p. 290; Leominster Pocket Directory for 1880-81, p. 8). Hudson started promoting his Rocking Table Apple Paring Machine in Worcester County Directory, for 1876-1877. F. W. Hudson is listed under the category Apple-Paring Machines, "Hudson patent rocking table" appears in parentheses after his name (p. 37). Hudson features "The Rocking Table Apple Paring Machine" in the advertising department of the directory (Ad Department, p. 82).
The parer that collectors know as the Rocking Table had not been patented at this point. It could be the case that F. W. Hudson initially used the Rocking Table name for a parer based on his 1872 and 1874 patents, see F. W. Hudson in our gallery for turntable apple parers and Apple Parers by Thornton (Hudson, 1872 and 1874; Thornton, p. 75).
F. W. Hudson (Worcester County Directory Ad Dept., 1876, p. 82)
In 1880 Hudson ran an illustrated one-page advertisement in the Worcester County Directory for a "new machine" (Worcester, 1880, p. 390 Ad Department). The ad is for the "Improved Rocking Table Apple Parer, with Push-off." The ad states, "This is a new machine. Is larger and more substantial than the one I made last year is simple in its construction, a very easy working machine, and is superior to any in the market." The ad ends with, "F. W. HUDSON, Manufacturer and Proprietor, Leominster, Mass. PATENT APPLIED FOR." The illustration shows what collectors know today as the Rocking Table Apple Parer.
Rocking Table Apple Parer (Worcester, 1880-81, p. 390 Ad Dept.)
In 1881 F. W. Hudson sold the family business to his son Charles Edward Hudson (1856-1942) and the company name was changed to C. E. Hudson. Illustrated advertisments for Hudson parers are rare before Charles took over the family business. The ad in the Worcester County Directory, for 1880-1881 represents the earliest known illustration of the Rocking Table Apple Parer. F. W. Hudson filed his patent on May 12, 1881 and it was issued on January 24, 1882 (Hudson, 1882). Rocking Table Apple Parers made while the patent was pending can easily be distinguished from those manufacuted after the patent was issued.
Pre-patent Rocking Table parers have no embossing on the turntable and a two-piece frame. Pre-patent Rocking Table Apple Parers are much less common than marked versions.
Rocking Table Apple Parer (pre-patent with no embossing on turntable)
Rocking Table Apple Parer (pre-patent with two-piece frame)
The first post-patent Rocking Table parers retain the two-piece frame and are embossed MANUF'D BY C. E. HUDSON LEOMINSTER, MASS PAT'D JAN. 24, 82 on the turntable. The two-piece frame was replaced by a one-piece frame.
The July 16, 1891 issue of The Iron Age included a report on the apple parer trade (p. 115). C. E. Hudson, Leominster, Mass was reported as offering the Rocking Table, Little Star, and Daisy. The report states, "Referring to the fact that it takes two or three years to perfect a new machine, Mr. Hudson mentions that the Rocking Table has been on the market for 15 years, the Little Star for 9 years, and the Daisy for 3 years. Improvements have recently been made in his facilities for manufacturing the goods and he is now in a position to turn out 300 dozen per week."
C. E. Hudson was granted letters patent for an "Adjustable Clamp for Securing Stands to Various Objects" on February 9, 1892 (Hudson, 1892). The September 14, 1893 issue of The Iron Age includes updates from C. E. Hudson & Co., "A new clamping device has been added to the Rocking Table Parer, and is referred to as making a firmer grip on the table and also preventing the marking of the table" (p. 494).
C. E. Hudson & Co. appears in the Leominster Directory, 1893-'94 for the first time; in parentheses the partnership is identified as C. E. Hudson and Prescott Bros. (p. 47). The partnership was formed for a hose mending business. Charles E. Hudson is still listed separately for the manufacture of apple parers.
C. E. Hudson Rocking Table with Clamping Device (1892-1897)
Rocking Table Apple Parer Single-Piece Frame and New Clamp
C. E. Hudson is listed as a manufacturer of apple parers for the last time in the 1895 Leominster Directory (p. 49). John Joseph Railey (1843-1912) is listed as manager of the Hudson Paring Company the following year (Leominster Directory, 1896, p. 55). The December 16, 1897 issue of The Iron Age includes a report from, "The Hudson Fruit Parer Company" (p. 43). From this point on the company name appears as the Hudson Paring Company in the The Iron Age. The embossing on Rocking Table Apple Parers was changed to MFD BY HUDSON PARER CO. LEOMINSTER, MASS. PAT'D JAN. 24, 82.
Hardware Dealers' Magazine of 1898 carried an advertisement for Hudson parers. Notice the engraving of the Rocking Table is an earlier version marked C. E. Hudson but by this time the company name had been changed to the Hudson Parer Company as indicated by the ad (p. 719).
The Hudson Paring Company is listed for the last time in the Leominster Directory 1936 with William Clifton Railey (1877-1940) as manager (p. 147).
We can infer a timeline for the evolution of the Rocking Table Apple Parer from our research:
1. 1876--F. W. Hudson advertises the Rocking Table Apple Paring Machine. Unfortunately, Hudson does not include an illustration of the parer.
2. 1880--F. W. Hudson advertises the "Improved Rocking Table Apple Paring Machine with Push-off" and includes an illustration that clearly shows what collectors today know as the Rocking Table Apple Parer. The ad indicates that a patent is pending. Pre-patent machines have no markings and a two-piece frame.
3. 1881--F. W. Hudson retires and the company name becomes C. E. Hudson after his son Charles.
4. 1882--F. W. Hudson is granted letters patent for the Rocking Table style parer on January 24, 1882. Parers are marked MANUF'D BY C. E. HUDSON LEOMINSTER, MASS PAT'D JAN. 24, 82 on the turntable. The two-piece frame is replaced by a one-piece frame.
5. C. E. Hudson is granted letters patent for a new clamping device on February 9, 1892. The clamp design is added to the Rocking Table Apple Parer.
6. C. E. Hudson forms a partnership with Prescott Brothers for a hose mending business identified as C. E. Hudson & Co. c1893. C. E. Hudson is still listed separately in the Leominster Directory, 1893-'94 for the manufacture of apple parers.
7. The company name was changed from C. E. Hudson to the Hudson Parer Company c1895. Embossing on the Rocking Table Apple Parer was changed to MFD BY HUDSON PARER CO. LEOMINSTER, MASS. PAT'D JAN. 24, 82.
7. The Hudson Parer Company continues under the leadership of John Railey and then his son William Railey until c1936.
The Rocking Table Apple Parer is well-engineered, effective and durable. While it is easy to obtain a Rocking Table Apple Parer for your collection, early verions with the two-piece frame can be more challenging to find.
Emerson, W. A. 1888. Leominster Massachusetts Historical and Picturesque. Gardner, Massachusetts, Lithotype Publishing Co., p. 290.
Hardware Dealers' Magazine, 1898, p. 719
Hudson, F. W., inventor; Improvement in Apple Parers. 1872 March 5. US124272.
Hudson, F. W., inventor; Improvement in Apple-Parers. 1874 Feb. 17. US147559.
Hudson, F. W., inventor; Apple-Parer. 1882 Jan. 22. US252670.
Hudson, C. E., inventor, Adjustable Clamp for Securing Stands to Various Objects. 1892 Feb. 9. US468450.
Leominster Directory, 1893-'94. New Haven Connecticut: The Price Lee Company, p. 47.
Leominster Directory, 1895. New Haven Connecticut: The Price Lee Company, p. 49.
Leominster Directory, 1896. New Haven Connecticut: The Price Lee Company, p. 55.
Leominster Directory 1936. New Haven Connecticut: The Price Lee Company, p. 147.
Leominster Pocket Directory for 1880-81. Leominster: Hawkes & Tenney, p. 8.
The Iron Age, July 16, 1891, Vol. 48, p. 115.
The Iron Age, Sept. 14, 1893, Vol. 52, p. 494.
The Iron Age, Dec. 16, 1897, Vol. 60, p. 43.
The Worcester County Directory, for 1876-1877. Boston, Massachusetts: Briggs & Co., Publishers, p. 37 and Advertising Department, p. 82.
Thornton, D. 1997. Apple Parers. Sunnyvale, California: Off Beat Books, p. 75.