100-Year-Old Cider Press; Made In York and still used in New Hampshire
Joe Vaillancourt of Garrison House Farm, Durham, New Hampshire, provided several photos of a cider press he uses for the annual Cider Pressing in October. The cider press was manufactured by the Keystone Farm Machine Company; in business in York, PA, between 1890 and 1919. It is difficult to tie down an exact date of manufacture for this cider press, however it is probably safe to say that it is at least 100-years-old.
The collections of the York County Heritage Trust contain a file of Keystone Farm Machine Company information. A product catalog is in this file; unfortunately it is not dated. The lead image in this post is the catalog illustration of the Medium Cider Press. The identification of the maker and model of Joe Vaillancourt’s cider press is contained in the following close-up photos:
These photos show the lettering on the lower sides of the cider press. Correspondence in the York County Heritage Trust file of Keystone Farm Machine Company information ask about lettering and decorations used on their products. My experience is that catalogs containing photos are the best guide. In catalogs with only sketched illustrations, such as the Keystone Farm Machine Company catalog, artists tend to make the lettering and decorations fancier, as compared to what actually occurs on the products produced. Thus these photos provide a nice authentic lettering guide for people restoring old cider presses.
In the early 1870s business was booming for the Empire Car Works, one of two major railcar manufacturing firms within the City of York. Empire had outgrown their cramped factory on the east side of North Beaver Street. The proprietor of the Empire Car Works, Michael Schall, expanded by building a large new factory on the west side of North Beaver Street. This new factory was completed in 1873.
After the Empire Car Works went out of business, the Keystone Farm Machine Company moved from their York Street 1890 start-up location to the empty Car Works about 1894 and when they went of business in 1919, a large building in the complex became the start-up location of the former Keystone Color Works. In the 140 years of existence for this historic industrial structure, the three principal businesses that have occupied this structure have been:
- Empire Car Works (from its construction in 1873)
- Keystone Farm Machine Company (beginning about 1894)
- Keystone Color Works (beginning about 1919)
The following posts delve into the history of various occupants of the buildings:
- #29 Keystone Farm Machine Company in York; in the Factory Buildings that formerly housed the Empire Car Works
- Two Railcar Manufacturers were in the City of York during the Civil War; plus Origins of the Empire Car Works
- Michael Schall’s Empire Car Works; plus his Family
- Keystone Color Works, a Historic Structure that goes back to 1873 and the Empire Car Works
The following posts contain Keystone Farm Machine Company product photos:
- The Magic Corn Sheller; it was Invincible
- Photos of Corn Sheller; Made In York by Keystone Farm Machine Company
- Pressing Elderberries in a York-made 100-Year-Old “Keystone” Berry Press