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Martin Boerner, Sr. and His Apple Press

October 10, 2016

I have written previously about my great-grandfather, Martin Boerner, Sr of Gaulsheim, Germany and Niagara, Wisconsin, USA. I did not get to meet him, but my father spoke of him with love and admiration. When Dad was a lad, his Grandpa Boerner lived with them and they spent considerable time together.

The other day, my sister and I pulled out Great-Grandpa Boerner’s apple press from the early 1900s. Our family ended up with the press and have used it repeatedly over  the decades. Great-Grandpa taught Dad how to make fermented apple jack–an art Dad appreciated over the years–but I have to admit, I’m partial to simple juice. Here is Martin Boerner’s apple press still in use, over a century later.


The handle on the left is turned as apples are put into the top metal piece. The grinder cuts them up and spits them out into the waiting barrel below.

With a small conversion of the machine, it becomes a juicer. The top piece which directs the apples into the chopper is removed, a metal handle inserted top of the presser, the burlap bag is laid up over the chopped apples, and the heavy wood presser in my hand in the picture on the left is put on top of the burlap bag covering the apples. Turning the presser downward squeezes the juice through the bottom of the wooden bucket and into the waiting 5-gallon container below.

Then the juice is strained through a milking strain before bottling for the freezer. Ta-da!


One Comment
  1. Billie Aderman permalink

    Thank you, Carm. A beautiful story told in a fascinating way.

    Sent from my iPhone


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