Thursday, April 03, 2014

Vintage Beatrice Harper Grinder

 Recently when I was out looking around in a second hand shop I found this great old Grinder.  
I remember using one of these a long time ago when making mincemeat and pickles. 
It was in good shape so I picked it up as I am on the search for things that I can use without electricity. 

Two times lately a plastic part on my electric food processor has broke and I had to find some super adhesive to fix it, of course, it didn't hold... the food processor works fine but due to planned obsolescence,  the company no longer makes parts for that machine...so I am not able to buy the plastic part that holds the cutter blades.. that really makes me mad.  I'm on the look out for much better glue but till then I am going to try this old style grinder when it serves the purpose.

 It came with all 3 original  fine, medium and coarse cutters.

 Harper is in raised letters on one side ...

 ... and Beatrice,  Made in England on the other.
 Looking down through the top opening you can see the spiral steel corkscrew device that when turned moves the vegetables or meat along towards the front cutter blades.

 Here is what it looks like with the steel corkscrew removed. 
 I don't know if it is called a corkscrew but it reminds me of one.
You can see the raised grooves in the base section that starts the cutting process.

The steel was tinned when it was brand new, but it has worn away on some places that received the most use.
But not to worry,  it can still be maintained with a little oil to keep it from rusting and it won't kill you if you use it.
It will just keep working every time you want it to. 
Just think of all the times you won't have to get mad because it broke again...
 because it won't... they used to make things that lasted.
Just make sure it is nice and dry before you put it away.

 This is the front where the cutter blades are attached.

 This is looking in from the back where the corkscrew grinder and handle slide in.

 This is what it looks like with the big grinder put into place with the medium size cutter blade attached with the wing nut.

 A look under the cutting board shows the heavy duty clamp that attaches the Grinder to the counter.

 The wooden handle still has traces of its red paint.

The blurred numerals just above the word Harper reads No.3181

They made the front attaching screw long enough to hold all 3 cutter blades so they won't get lost in storage.
Everything about this is just simple and smart.  I'd rather turn the handle than push a button anyway. 
 It feels like you are more involved in the process....  and there is absolutely No plastic on it anywhere! 

Maybe I won't even bother fixing my electric food processor and instead,  just use this great piece of vintage kitchen equipment, all the time....
after all at $5.99,  it cost less than the glue.

I can't wait to start mincing and grinding things.

20 comments:

Arija said...

A wonderful kitchen device indeed Gwen. I still use my mother's old one from the 40's.
The other wonderful thing about it is that it is blissfully silent.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Arija, Exactly, I totally forgot about the quiet factor. That is a feature I will value... and the reason why I like a broom over a vacuum.

Guillaume said...

I remember my parents had (still have?) a meat grinder just like that. I remember they mainly made ham with it, which I hated because I hate ham. But they also grinded the mince for the shepherd pies. Best mince there was.

Gwen Buchanan said...

The sheperd pie sounds great.
The Christmas mincemeat we make is made with green tomatoes... sort of a faux mincemeat but really yummy... it is spicy/raisins etc..

Steven Cain said...

Sweet find!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Steven, First thing I think I'll try is grinding up some carrots for a carrot cake.

pauline said...

omg Gwen, you just took me down memory lane! i remember my grandmother had one of these and she used it to grind meat for her "poutines" and meat pie at Christmas! I never wanted to be the one to put the meat in (where the blades cut) but i always wanted to be turning the handle! Your kitchen is beautiful, the chicken soup looked fabulous, and those rolls!! omg, those ROLLS! ;-) Lovely jewelry & artwork, as always. Oh and those full moon pics - my my... so peaceful. xx

Gwen Buchanan said...

I can't help it Pauline I have some kind of weird gene that draws me to old things.... especially durable functional old things.
Thanks for making me smile and for sending the happy feelings. xo

rachel said...

What a great find! Now all you need is an old metal French mouli, the kind we grew up with, and you can blend soups by hand too!

A Heron's View said...

O gosh yes! Everyone had one of those in their kitchen and there was a later model that had four metal legs with rubber sucker pads so that it could be used on a worktop. Unfortunately it wasn't quite as good and you had to hold still with one hand or it would dance!

Faye Henry said...

So great that you found this, Gwen.. I collected a few once which I turned into pin cushions for the shop.. They are handy when you are working as you clamp it on your sewing table.. I think anything which doesn't require hydro is a keeper..I keep one in my pantry.. smile.. xo

Gwen Buchanan said...

Rachel, Great suggestion. I'd love to come across a French Mouli...I'll keep a look out for one. Thanks.

Mel, that sounds like some entertainment while you work... I haven't come across one of those yet.

Faye, that is like having a third hand when you are sewing, really fun idea. Bet they were the cutest things!

Sara O'Leary said...

Hi Gwen,
The best stuff for fixing things (particularly plasticky, fiddly things) is SUGRU. It's kind of expensive and will eventually dry out in the package but it's kind of amazing.
http://sugru.com/about
The old grinder is good too, mind you.

Falcondawn said...

This can be fun really, start yours :-) Greetings Gwen Buchanan from Cologne in Germany!


Yours sincerely

Olivier Klastat

Priya Sebastian said...

I eat red meat very occasionally and when I do I visit a butcher at a by lane down the road. He uses a similar grinder to mince meat. I never really appreciated the beauty of the machine until I saw the pictures you've taken here.I have to but marvel at each part of this device.
These days we don't really 'repair' gadgets do we? We usually end up buying the latest. I find the pressure to 'upgrade' tiresome and I don't bother.
I don't really remember my grandmother repairing or upgrading. As you say, things made then were built to last.

ps: I was looking through your works for Kevin Grote's book covers. All 16 of them look striking and gorgeous. I love your pen and ink and watercolour work.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

We had one of these when i was a child! I am very much in sympathy with your irritation about built in obsolescence. I don't want things to need replacing all the time. I want beautiful things built to last that I can take care of and use for a lifetime.

Arija said...

Gwen, I haven't had a vacuum cleaner for the last year. Apart from providing me with reliable transport, a besom and a moist rag for the edges keep my little house in shape. Apart from that, I don't eat off the floor so why should it be clean enough to eat off?
To keep my rooms sweet smelling, I tie a sprig of rosemary, lavender or lemon scented geranium, to my broom.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks for the tip Sara, hummm, now this sounds interesting, something that repairs plastic. it must be in high demand!! haha.
I'll check it out tho...cheers.

Hi Olivier, Thanks for visiting.

Priya, I am so pleased to hear that your butcher uses one of these. Much more personal service.

Elizabeth, Thank you, I couldn't have said it better.

Arija, what a great idea with your scented bouquets!

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

I so share your annoyance at built in obsolescence. It's not just about the cost of buying new, it's also about the waste of materials in throwing something away just because a tiny part broke. And plastic, of course...

A few years ago we had to replace an entire sliding door with its accompanying static window and two opening lights above... because a tiny little component that was needed to fix the door shut was no longer available. Made me so cross.

I've never used a hand grinder but there is no denying it was built to last. And has the advantage of not using electricity too. Do you have regular power cuts?

Enjoy using it!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Janice, we don't have regular power cuts, I just like to be more self reliant... I would love to avoid the use of electricity altogether... must be coming from my days as a back-to-the-lander.... I guess they call it homesteading now.