Antique Cider Presses: Pressed Into Service

Iowa man collects, restores antique cider presses


| October 2012


You might say that Joe Wurth was, uh, pressed into his first experience with a cider press. The Marcus, Iowa, man had never laid hands on a press (sometimes called a mill) until a friend asked him to help restore her family’s antique. That favor has since evolved into a full-fledged collection and hobby for Joe and his family.

It started simply enough. While building birdhouses for his young sons to place around the yard, Joe began to develop woodworking skills. Before long, he advanced to more complicated projects, things like picture frames and jewelry boxes.

Then a co-worker took notice and asked a favor. Her family had a long tradition of making cider every fall, but hadn’t made a batch for a few years, she said, because “a couple of boards” on their antique cider press needed to be replaced. “She knew I had just purchased a table saw,” Joe says, “and asked if I would consider cutting the boards needed to make the press functional again.”

Joe went to look at the cider press the following weekend. He expected to see an antique with a few rough edges. Instead, he found a basket case. “It was a pile of iron with the remains of two rotting legs,” Joe remembers. “My friend’s father looked at me with a smile and said, ‘Well, let’s get this stuff loaded up!’ Before I knew it, the iron parts were in the back of my pickup. As I headed back home, I wondered how it had all happened.”

Joe didn’t know it at the time, but that first press was a large one capable of producing 600 gallons of juice in a day. “It weighed close to 500 pounds,” he recalls. “It took four of us to load it in the pickup when it was all restored. That project was my baptism.”

Favor morphs into hobby

Joe spent most of that summer restoring the antique cider press. Pleased with his first effort, he hatched a plan. “I started wishing I had a press of my own,” he says. That fall, Joe and his wife attended a Missouri farm sale where they purchased a single-tub press manufactured by Red Cross Mfg. Co., Bluffton, Ind.






SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265