- Author: Darrell Fluman
- Editor: L. Watts
THE ILLINOIS CHERRY STONER
Patented April 9, 1867 by George Geer, Galesburg, Ill.
It is cherry season again and I wanted to highlight an historical cherry processing item.
George Geer's patent for his Illinois Cherry Stoner was issued on April 9th, 1867.
This is the first manufactured cherry stoner to use prongs to “stab” the seeds from the cherries leaving them intact with minimal damage.
There were earlier cherry stoners, Patented in 1859 and 1863, that used a spinning disc to rub the seed from the cherries, but left a mangled mass of partial cherries. Fine for jams, jellies and other preserves, but not pretty.
It is a table top, clamp-on model that removes the pits from cherries two at a time.
Equipped with a grooved wood tray to help feed the cherries into the circular depressions in the tray, the barbed prongs would press the pits through the bottom of the cherries into a small bowl and the steel plate would scrape the pitted cherries from the prongs on the return.
The cherries then roll down the wood ramp into another bowl.
This invention was thought to be so important that it was featured on the front cover of Scientific American in 1868.
Just one look at the expression on the face of the woman operating the Illinois Cherry Stoner gives you some idea as to the utter joy provided to the housewife of the day by this new fangled gadget.
At some point George Geer sold or assigned his patent rights to David Goodell of Antrim, N.H. who then modified the cherry stoner to include a cast iron tray and frame.
Pictured here in a 1918 Shapleigh Hardware catalog, it wholesaled @ $9.50 per dozen.
The description includes the instructions to:
“Drop Cherries in Hopper with Left Hand and Operate with Right Hand.”
“Capacity About Six Quarts per Hour; Removes Seeds from Two Cherries at a Time”
Goodell Co. marketed and sold this model as The Family Cherry Stoner for another 50-60 years.
These are very common and readily available in the marketplace today.
David Goodell manufactured a wide range of kitchen appliances to include more than a dozen different small apple parers, sectioners, cherry pitters, and several commercial apple parers all of which are highly collectable.