More on Crider’s Patent Adjustable Fruit-Picker
I was intrigued by the strong advertising and testimonials lauding H. M. Crider’s 1881 fruit-picker (see previous post), so I stopped by York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum to see one of these wonderful inventions in person.
It does look like a good idea—strong metal tines or fingers to pull off the fruit into a cloth bag, which would make for less bruising than a metal container. In my previous post I wondered if a long pole, as shown in the ad’s illustration, wouldn’t be too unwieldy to maneuver. As you can see in the photo below, the one at the museum only has a handle about five feet long. At the left-center of the photo, however, is a very slender pole, perhaps 20 feet long, that might have been used to reach the upper branches of fruit trees with the Crider picker.
Note the ladder shown to the right of the pole. Fruit picking ladders were tapered at the top, perhaps making them less apt to catch branches. I was impressed by how tall it is—I can see why Crider’s ad warned of broken human limbs and other injuries from falls (unless you used his fruit-picker).
Crider corralled some leading York County citizens to endorse his invention. They included pastors–Presbyterian H. E. Niles and Lutheran A. G. Fastnacht, bankers J. H. Baer and C. E. Lowe, Dr. C. A. Eisenhart and Justice of the Peace Solomon Myers. J. Jessop, probably the grandson of Jonathan Jessop, who had propagated the York Imperial Apple 60 years before testified: “Every person growing fruit should have one”