Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 1
February 2007
What is It?

Bean Slicer
Lee Valley collection

Bean Slicer

Before the invention of specialized kitchen utensils, food preparation was laborious and time-consuming. The Victorian Era, which marked the height of the British industrial revolution (approximately late 1830s to early 1900s), brought with it many new labor-saving inventions. These were key to the emerging middle class who, unlike the upper classes of previous centuries, did not have the money to employ a sizeable group of servants. As a result, gadgets such as mincers, choppers, slicers and corers rose to their height of popularity during this time.

Spong and Co. Ltd., a British company founded in 1856, was then considered one of the leading manufacturers of household utensils. The company was particularly well known for one of its kitchen utensils – the bean slicer.

The variation of a Spong bean slicer shown here – model 632 – takes one bean at a time. Each is fed into the hopper, the handle is turned and the three blades on the rotating wheel automatically pull the vegetable down and slice it diagonally into even pieces. The utensil can be clamped onto a counter or table edge by the large adjustable screw.

  Bean Slicer

  Bean Slicer
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