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














Sargent & Foster
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Sargent & Foster of Shelburne Falls Massachusetts made one of the first quick return apple parers based upon a patent granted to Ephraim Loriston Pratt (1817-1869) on October 4, 1853 (Pratt, 1853). A worm gear drives the mechanism that rotates the blade. The paring arm is under spring tension to follow the apple's profile. Once the apple is pared the paring arm is no longer in gear and snaps back to starting position under spring tension. Pratt's patented innovation for this machine was a knife or paring head that could "vibrate" and accomodate itself to irregularities in the surface of the fruit.

Pratt's patented parer became the subject of the first three lawsuits involving a patent for an apple parer invention. The Way Lawyers Worked examines these lawsuits using records from media, litigation, and patent office filings to highlight how court practices and law developed during the mid-nineteenth century (Risch and Viney, 2022).

An advertisement for Sargent & Foster's Patent Automatic Apple Parer appeared in the September and October 1855 issues of The Ohio Cultivator (The Ohio Cultivator, 1855).



Pratt, E. L., inventor, Machine for Paring Apples, 1853 Oct. 4. US10078.

Risch, M. and Viney M, The Way Lawyers Worked, 90 U. Cin. L. Rev. (2022). Accessed 9 April 2022,

The Ohio Cultivator: A Semi-Monthly Journal, Devoted to the Improvement of Agriculture and Horticulture, and the Promotion of Domestic Industry, September and October, 1855, Vol. 11, pp. 271 & 320. Library of Congress, Washington D.C.


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