Universal Food Chopper - 1898 Vintage Ad
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Posted on 03 Oct 2017 21:55

Today, when we think of automatic food choppers, we envision a device designed to replace knife work and make chopping ingredients for dishes faster and easier. But this Universal Food Chopper advertisement seems to indicate that the appliance will chop up just about anything, pigs, cows, sheep, fish, lobster, vegetables, etc.

The ad shows a "Universal No. 2 Food Chopper," which was meant to be mounted on a countertop. There is a circle of animals and vegetables all flowing into the opening at the top of the chopper. We see chickens, turkeys, carrots, coconut, apples, clams, fish, potato, celery, bread, lobster, crackers, beef, cauliflower, onions, sheep, cabbage, and pork.

This food chopper, which began to be marketed in the late 1800's by Landers, Frary, & Clark of New Britain, Connecticut, was more a food grinder than a food chopper. However, the chopper did come with different "cutters" for chopping vegetables, meats, or for pulverizing crackers or breads.


vintage food chopper advertisment, c. 1898

LOC Prints and Photographs, no known restrictions on publication.Image Source

vintage food chopper advertisment, c. 1898

LOC Prints and Photographs, no known restrictions on publication.Image Source

The company also sold coffee percolators and bread makers. In those days, companies did not always advertise individual products. Instead, they tended to focus on advertising the company or "brand" itself. Advertisements for the products read:

"Food to-day costs money. We are all out to make this food go just as far as possible. Universal Food Choppers, Bread Makers and Percolators conserve food. We have spent thousands of dollars to impress this fact.

By the use of the "Universal Food Chopper, the leftover bits of food are made into delicious and appetizing dishes and the price of the chopper is saved in no time.

With the "Universal" Bread Maker, whole wheat, rye or graham bread is made with the same certainty and ease that white bread is made.

The "Universal" Coffee Percolator makes delicious coffee without boiling. Saves you one-third on your coffee bill because every bit of flavor is extracted from each grain of coffee.

Realizing these facts, housewives everywhere are buying these goods. Put these articles where they can be seen and handled—it won't hurt them,—but will sell them.


vintage appliance advertisment, c. 1898

"Hardware World" 1898Image Source

vintage appliance advertisment, c. 1898

"Hardware World" 1898Image Source

The Universal Food Chopper was meant to replace a "chopping bowl." Wooden bowls would be used along with a rounded blade, to chop up ingredients for hash or to chop up apples or horseradish, etc.

The food chopper did not chop vegetables. As you can imagine, it as more of a food crusher than food chopper.

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