The lemon squeezer has come a long way since the inception of this brilliantly simple tool that made the lives of many housewives and bartenders’ lives a lot more easier. Because of the thick skin of the lemon, the early users of lemon as a juice wanted to take out the most juice, given that it was very expensive at the time. Lemons are part of those exported products and among the first to find a solution to getting the most juice from the lemons are the Turks.
Given its many uses and proven medicinal importance, lemons have large demands. In fact, limits on the importation of lemons have been experienced in the past and especially now during the COVID pandemic.
The oldest patent for the lemon squeezer was given to Lewis S. Chichester on July 3, 1860. His design was a cast iron squeezer and was recognized as more efficient than the ordinary squeezers in use during that time. It operated on the principle of the lever and fulcrum, much like the modern squeezer.
However, the oldest lemon squeezers were made of ceramic pottery and were found in Kutahya, Turkey in the early part of the 18th century. The design during that time looked a lot more like this.
The closest version to the lemon squeezer we know of today was invented by John Thomas White and was approved as a patent on December 8, 1896. It was mounted to a base but works in the same principle as the modern squeezer. See more of the patent image here.
Since then, the citrus squeezer has seen so many innovations, in fact, more than 200 patents were approved in the late part of the 18th century just for the squeezer. Not to mention the hundreds of modern ones from the most practical to the most ridiculous to works of art. A few of these artsy versions are currently displayed in some museums.
What is a lemon squeezer called?
A lemon squeezer can also be called a reamer, mostly because of its mechanism where the lemon is reamed (widen the hole using a tool) with the reamer. The lemon is then pressed on the reamer and turned around until the juice and sometimes the inner walls enclosing the segments are removed. The stainless steel is the tabletop reamer while the wooden one is handheld.
What is a squeezer?
A squeezer is a tool used to remove the juice from the lemon and other citrus fruits. It comes in many forms but the principle remains the same - get the most juice from each citrus fruit. .
Whatever the design of the lemon squeezer, the most important part is that it does its job - extract the juice. Whether you decide to buy the quirky or the classic designed, manual or electrical juicers, the fact remains that it will be useless unless you get the most of your juice from using it.