The Virtual Apple Parer Museum.  Dedicated to the exhibition and educational study of antique apple parers which have both historic and artistic value.














Centennial Keystone Apple Parer

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Two patents granted to William A. C. Oaks appear on the Centennial Keystone Apple Parer made by the Keystone Hardware Manufacturing Company, a part of Reading Hardware Company (Thornton, 1997). The inventive claim for Oaks's patent of December 10, 1872 includes a bent frame to allow parings to fall free from the machine and a mechanism for pushing the knife clear of the apple after paring so that the fruit can easily be removed (Oaks, 1872).

Oaks used the same general design and referenced his earlier patent in his letters patent dated July 22, 1873 (Oaks, 1873). The innovation for Oaks's 1873 patent was for a mechanism that temporarily stopped the knife while the forks continued to make one revolution, "...the knife will make a positive stop until the apple has made one revolution, so that that part of the apple near the prongs of the fork is fully pared before the knife commences to start around the apple." The mechanism consists of missing teeth on the turntable gear. A large tooth on the spur gear connected to the turntable gear re-engages after one revolution of the fork, see first image below.

In our video the knife stop is difficult to see as it occurs so quickly. Like most parers the Centennial would be mounted at the corner of a table.

Centennial Close-up

Close-up showing Oaks's 1873 mechanism
Note missing teeth on turntable and large tooth on spur gear


The Centennial Keystone Apple Parer is found in two versions, one that has a tilted frame as described in the patent and one that is oriented more vertically like the Reading '75. However, the Reading pushoff is on the frame instead of the turntable.

William A. C. Oaks (1835-1917) was granted 13 US patents for apple parers. Most were used by the Goodell Company such as the Vertical Lightning, Bonanza, Dandy, Electric 1887, and the Eureka. Oaks first two US patents for apple parers were used to manufacture the Centennial Keystone Apple Parer. Captain
W. A. C. Oaks served the Union in the Civil War. One can't help but think the name Centennial was deliberately chosen to celebrate the Union's hard-one fight to keep the nation united.

Centennial Apple Parer

PAT DEC. 10 1872 JULY 22 1873



Oaks, W. A. C., inventor; Improvement in Apple-Parers. 1872 December 10. US133796.

Oaks, W. A. C., inventor; Improvement in Apple-Parers. 1873 July 22. US141070.

Thornton, D. 1997. Apple Parers. Sunnyvale, California: Off Beat Books, p. 173.









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