WHAT IS THIS
"What Is This?" is a collection of articles that describe an antique item and how it fits into history.
What is This? (Pickle Castors)
By: Antique Trail 9/21/2011
I found an interesting (new to me) collectible yesterday on the TennesseeAntiqueTrail - pickle castors. A pickle castor, according to the owner, is usually a Victorian table accessory which includes a glass bowl inserted into a silver plated frame, lid, and often have matching tongs. I found these at antiquecentersmurfreesboro.com
I found one pickle castor on line that was priced at $1295; it was described as a Bohemian (Moser?) Pickle Castor. Circa 1880-1890.
Please send me more photos and information to share about this collectible!
What is This (Reamers)
By: Antique Trail 9/15/2010
This is a reamer which I bought at Country Porch Antiques in Anderson, Alabama just a month or so ago. I was thrilled to find a reasonably priced reamer that I did not already own!
I admit it; I am a collector of reamers. My mother gave me my first reamer when I moved "out on my own" many years ago. Two of my favorite "treats" that mom made for me as I was growing up were freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh lemonade. My friends would ask me to be sure to ask my mom to bring lemonade and home made pimento cheese sandwiches to the pool on hot summer days.
Unknown to them, my mom brought lemonade and home made sandwiches because it was an economical choice. Our budget rarely allowed our having lunch at the snack bar like most of the other kids. It was a treat also to learn at an early age that frugal economical decisions had many advantages other than the obvious one.
Back to the original question,a reamer, simply put, is an orange or lemon juice squeezer or juicer!
Soon after my mom gave me that first juicer, I bought another one in a "junk" store when a friend and her mother, Mrs. Scarlett, took me with them to my first "antique/junk" store.
They were searching for depression glass. I found a reamer for just one dollar. I was hooked at an early age.
Obviously, the glass juicer is not as popular today as it was in the past. They have been replaced by electric juicers and fresh juice at the grocery store.
According to the National Reamers Collection Association, reamers.org, "reamers were invented over 200 years ago out of necessity when it was discovered that citrus provided a cure for diseases like scurvy.
The first reamers were all produced in Europe. Major china companies such as Bayreuth, Miessen, Royal Rudolstadt and Limoges produced reamers for some of the finer tables in Europe.
The first reamer was patented in the United States around 1867, after the Civil War. It was a hand held reamer. Next came the one piece reamer with a small saucer and a cone that was meant to fit on top of a glass.
These were quite messy as they slid and slipped off of the glass. In the 1880's a glass rim was added to the bottom of the saucer to help keep the reamer on the glass. Around the same time, wooden squeezers with a press action were also being used. Two-piece sets with measuring pitcher bottoms and separate reamer tops did not come along until the mid 1920's.
The biggest boom for reamers came in 1907 when a a co-op named the "California Fruit Growers Exchange" was formed. This co-op marketed the name Sunkist to sell fruit to the east coast.
Sunkist reamers were produced as a promotional item. However, not until 1916 when the "Drink an Orange" campaign was launched, were reamers marketed to the masses.
Sunkist reamers were manufactured in a variety of colors, like green, pink, blue, yellow, black and white. White was the most commonly producted color. There were many variations of the basic colors which are sought after by collectors today. Three different glass companies manufactured the Sunkist reamer from 1916 till the early 1960's.
The first colored reamer was actually introduced in 1922 by the Fry Glass Co. It was called "Pearl Glass" and was so popular, it prompted the company to add colors such as pink, green, amber, white milk glass and finally jadeite, delfite and vaseline colors up through 1928. This prompted many other glass companies, such as Cambridge, Anchor Hocking, Jeannette and McKee to join the color bandwagon. They produced a variety of shapes and colors, with green being the most popular. Jeannette made the last of the well known glass reamers under the Jenny-ware line in pink, jadeite, delfite and ultramarine.
American pottery companies like Redwing, Corns China Co., McCoy, Universal Cambridge, Crooksville and the Hall China Company also produced several reamers. Even the Coors Bottling Company produced a series of reamers in coorsite porcelain.
By the mid 1930's, trade agreements were entered into with the Japanese. This opened the door for a glut of Japanese goods, including reamers. The limited number of American pottery companies could not compete with the flood of cheap Japanese pottery reamers pouring into the dime stores and variety stores, and eventually they stopped their production of reamers.
Also, in the 1930's, the electric juicers became popular, taking a bite out of the glass and ceramic reamer sales.
By 1940, the introduction of frozen concentrate slowed the demand even more, making the reamer almost extinct.
Not much has happened in the reamer manufacturing arena since 1940. Some ceramic reamers are still produced in Japan, but very few get to the US. Gone is the heyday of the wonderful reamer.
Reamers come in all type of materials -- woods, glass, metal ceramic, pottery, and most recently, plastic. Shapes vary from round, square, oblong, triangular to figurals, such as clowns, animals and people.
There are one piece, two piece and three piece reamers. They come plain, fancy, engraved, embossed, frosted, hand painted and trimmed in gold and silver.
There are advertising reamers, souvenir reamers and regular utility pieces. The number of once available reamers range to the thousands.
The popularity of reamer collecting is attested by the number of "reproductions" starting to show up, using the old molds.
Some of these are being reproduced in the original colors, causing devaluation of the original pieces and overpriced reproductions being sold.
New collectors need to be aware of these pieces, as many dealers unknowingly represent these as old."