Sunday, December 28, 2008

Squeezing the last drops out of 2008!

As we try to squeeze the last hours out of 2008, I have once again created a unique show and tell for you for this week…the reamer! (Hey…these segue ways do not come easy!)

In 18th century Europe, reamers were designed to extract juice from citrus to counter scurvy, but citrus was also used in other medicinal treatments. Today many studies are being done using Citrus flavonoids which have potential antioxidant (prevents aging), anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activities, effects on capillarity, and cholesterol-lowering ability. See…that cosmo could be made with citrus! Not to mention a Harvey Wallbanger!

Ceramic reamers were produced by some of the major china companies in Europe (Bayreuth, Miessen, Limoges) and graced the tables of the upper class. I have none in stock so we will feature the glass reamer.

According to my research, 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. Three different glass companies manufactured the Sunkist reamer from 1916 till the early 1960s.

In 1922 Fry Glass Co. introduced "Pearl Glass.” Here is a Fry reamer…but even more striking is the design when you flip the reamer upside down.

It was so popular that 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. The other big glass companies like Anchor Hocking, Jeannette and McKee copied the styles. 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.

Pottery companies made reamers also, but in the 1930s cheap Japanese ones were sold in the 5 & 10 cent stores…kind of like China and the Dollar Store stories of today. Anyway, by the 1940s frozen concentrate was on the market and so begins the processed food saga! Always many layers to these tales, don’t you know?

Anyway, may your New Year be juicy and may all your “reamings” be good ones!


Patricia said...

The segue ways may not come easy, but they always make me smile! I love learning about the lowly kitchen items that I don't give two thoughts to until you come up with the history! Another fun one, thanks,


Cottage Flair said...

Intersting as always. I have a new version of the reamer because my son likes to squeeze his own juice. I think I need a vintage one! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...


Now that was fun! I don't own a single reamer, but would love a pink one!


Just a bed of roses said...

Susan, I love to read your show and tell monday blogs...I always learn so much and love antiques so much. The stories behind them are so important and so thanks for all the extra time it takes you to write this important information and help in keeping antiques alive for many years to come. Happy New year to you too...have a healthy one!

gail said...

Hi Susan,,, I think you are the segue master! lol Now coming from a great citrus growing state I do own a couple of these. I love fresh OJ,,, Its the best and this is the time of year they are there sweetest. Have a great week, and a safe, healthy, happy New Year,, hugs, gail

Unknown said...

See Susan... We all love reading your blog on a Sunday night! I always learn so much and look forward to it!

The Quilt Shoppe said...

Never knew they were called reamers. We always called them "Juicers." Learn something new every day! Thanks for the great info :)

Lilli Blue said...

Susan you knock me out!LOL Ilove the jadeite one the most. I am so happy to have the knowledge that a Harvey Wall banger is good for my health. LOL
Happy New Year! Lilli

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Susan, Who knew there was such history to a reamer. I finally broke down and bought one a few months ago. It's only the hand held kind but yours are really pretty! Have a Happy New Year!

Susie said...

Hi Susan! You did it again! Just marvelous! I love anything connected to citrus!
Happy New Year!
Susie of The Polka Dot Rose

SoCal Helene said...

Susan, another great S&T!
Happy & Healthy New Year!

Carolee Crafts said...

Your posts are always informative, we call them juicers over the pond and they are invaluable in any kitchen.

Thank you for sharing and have a Happy New Year

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Susan I didn't know they were called reamers. Cool. The Fry one is my favorite. I love the design on the bottom.
Have a very happy New Year! Looking forward to more learning in 09.
bunny kisses,

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Wow Susan, you always have the most interesting posts. I always use my "reamer". Didn't know there were so many pretty ones! Have a very Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Oh - such an interestng post! I love the reamers, especially the pastel ones. Hugs, Patti