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View Exhibit

Mudge Canner and Sterilizer

Display: Hearth to Cookstove
Culinary Technique: food preservation

Date: July 27, 1886

Manufacturer: John L. Gaumer Company

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dimensions: 14.5" h x 14" w x 14" d

Watch collection donor Mel Mickevic demonstrate this object with
Dean Christopher Koetke, School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College,
and Victoria Matranga, exhibition curator.

This tin-plated, copper-bottomed processor box sat on a gas or wood-fired stove to boil water. A screw cap in the base whistled an alert when water was boiling down. According to the maker, the Mudge was an improvement over other canners that cooked from the bottom, as this cooked from the top down. The cylinders, whose copper tops are shaped inside like a teardrop, have a small puncture hole to release steam. They covered filled, open jars, forcing steam into the contents, which retained the form and color of the fruit. Jars were sealed while hot. The sterilizer was made in three sizes (one, two, or four cylinders) for home use; larger sizes for boarding houses and hotels could be custom ordered. In response to public health concerns, around 1910 this unit was used in a Milwaukee tavern for patrons who paid an extra penny to sterilize their beer steins.


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