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Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers, pumps, washers and antiquities of the industrial revolution.

Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles

Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill


Hi, new member here. I just brought this old (1880's?) Whitman's Americus Cider Mill back to life....

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  #1  
Old 09-22-2011, 04:44 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Hi, new member here. I just brought this old (1880's?) Whitman's Americus Cider Mill back to life. From what I can tell, it's the "Senior" model having 17" diameter baskets. I am missing the crank, crank shaft, and big gear. Instead, I have a knicker knob mounted directly to the flywheel. "Crank faster, Johnny!". Does anybody have any information on these? I found some old advertisements, but that's about it. For those of you using this model, I'd like to know where you're sourcing your pressing bags. I see a few of you are looking for measurements as well. I'd be happy to provide whatever you're looking for.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:49 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

And here's a few BEFORE pictures:
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

What does that gear on the inside of the flywheel drive?
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Here'a pic of a junior model with a crank handle. My junior model doesn't have any gears on this side and just a place on the flywheel for a crank handle. If anyone has a junior model for sale, I could use some parts.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:31 PM
Hank Czerwick Hank Czerwick is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

We rebuilt a Red Cross press about 3 years ago. We've found that pressing without a bag and putting a sieve on top of the bucket is the way to go. You can even run a piece of linen in the sieve if you like. Much faster then messing with the bag and less stress on the press.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:13 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Here'a pic of a junior model with a crank handle. My junior model doesn't have any gears on this side and just a place on the flywheel for a crank handle. If anyone has a junior model for sale, I could use some parts.
Hi Scott. The gear inside the flywheel is supposed to be driven by a larger gear (2:1 ratio?) that is connected to a handle on the other side. I'm missing that part, thus the knob attached directly to the flywheel.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:19 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Here are a few pictures from Saturday. We ran through about 700# of apples. Yield was 45 gallons of cider. We probably could have squeezed a little more out of them, but the 130 year old wood on the press was groaning under the load. I will probably have to replace the big upright timbers for next year. Who says you can't preserve history on a half-acre in the suburbs?
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:14 PM
dbock dbock is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

That is a good looking cider mill. I hope mine looks that good when I get it restored. I would like to get some dimensions of your press if you get a chance.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:33 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

I replaced my uprights and cross-beam under the press end out of 4x6 white oak a few weeks ago as I blew out the uprights during a test-run. She should be good to go now. Due to repeated requests, I'm thinking of modeling up the wood bits in Google Sketch-up for distribution to all interested.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:22 PM
con-rad con-rad is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

beautiful press! as for pressing bags, i used a $1.69 laundry bag from walmart and it worked great. at that price buy a few for extras!

conrad
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Ditto - we The Ohio Valley Homebrewers [OVHA.net] also use these bags - they really work great.
We have moved to using a large meat grinder for the apples - that is a major speed improvement.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:44 AM
Emil K Emil K is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

I would like to make apple cider next year, I'v never made it. I have an old big press, forget the name, but I'll check it out and post it. It has a lot of the orignal paint and pinstriping on it still. I have some questions.
Do you have to worry about the rust on the parts or what do you use to clean them. The rings on the baskets are rusty and the internal parts also.
How picky are you with the apples? do you wash the apples first? How do you presurve the cider?
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:57 AM
skwimjim skwimjim is offline
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Default Re: Whitman's Americus Senior Cider Mill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emil K View Post
Do you have to worry about the rust on the parts or what do you use to clean them. The rings on the baskets are rusty and the internal parts also.
How picky are you with the apples? do you wash the apples first? How do you presurve the cider?
I don't use apples that have more than a small brown spot on them or at least cut away and discard the rotted parts. I float the apples in tubs full of water to rinse, then press. When I got this press out of the barn, I fully disassembled it and removed rust with a wire wheel on a drill. I left the surfaces that touch the apples unpainted. Before pressing, I hose the whole thing down really good, inside and out. Then I run a couple of bushels of junk apples (deer apples) through it as the acid in the apples cleans the metal up real nice. Then I do another rinse with the garden hose before the main event.

---------- Post added at 10:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:55 AM ----------

As far as preserving the cider, I freeze some of it in old milk/juice jugs in a deep freeze and make hard cider with the other portion.
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