Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 3
June 2007
 
What Is It?
 

Marmalade Cutter


Marmalade cutter – side view.


This peculiar-looking tool was used to slice citrus peel to make marmalade. The patented device is marked with the name of the manufacturing company, Follows & Bate Ltd., which was based in Manchester, England. The company operated from approximately 1867 to 1938 and was best known for its horticultural tools. In fact, it is one of the earliest well-known British lawn mower manufacturers. In addition to horticultural tools, Follows & Bate Ltd. produced many mechanical aids for food preparation, such as the tool shown here.

The marmalade cutter is simple to operate. After clamping it to the edge of a table or counter, fruit peel is fed into the cylindrical opening and pushed toward the blade using a wooden implement. The top handle moves back and forth, slicing the peel into fine pieces and expelling them from the bottom.


Feeding the peels through the cylinder.
  Marmalade cutter in use.


Along with various other preserves, marmalade was one of the first foods to be mass-produced in Manchester. In 1890, James Robertson & Sons Ltd. – a company that had been operating out of the back of a shop in Paisley, Scotland, since 1864 – opened its jam factory in the area. Today, the company is said to produce the leading brand of preserves in the United Kingdom and has held a Royal Warrant since 1933, meaning the British royal family uses its jams. The most recognized Robertson's product is Golden Shred Marmalade, which the company has been producing since its inception.


 
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