The Purpose of This Vintage Press

This past weekend Mike and I took a short trip to an auction in a neighboring state.  I was intrigued with this press and thought I might know what it was, but I was wrong.  The auctioneer who was selling it was also wrong when he put it up for sale at the auction.  He stated that it was a cider or fruit press.  I looked at it and thought that it might be a cheese press but remarked to Mike that there was no way to determine the weight at which the cheese was being pressed with this design. Had I been able to convince myself it was not a cheese press, I most likely would not have bid on it.   Upon a closer inspection after buying it, I knew the press was something other than a fruit or cheese press and began to research the company that manufactured it.  Immediately information surfaced for A I Root Company in Medina Ohio, a company started in 1869 that still manufactures candles to this day. 

"Hmmmmm" I mused.  "A press for candles?"  Something just didn't seem right about that.  So, I continued to research. 

I found a web site with the history of the founder, Mr. Amos Ives Root.  It seems that Mr. Root was a jewelry maker at the time when bees swarmed his place of business.  One of his employees (so the story goes) was asked to catch the swarm for him.  Thus began Mr. Root's interest in beekeeping.  (It is reported that his wife chastised him for paying the employee a day's wages in order to catch what she considered a good for nothing pesk.  Whether this part of the story is true or not, we do not know but we do know that Amos kept bees as a hobby as far back as his early twenties)   Amos Root was a brilliant entrepreneur whose interest in bees led him to manufacturing bee keeping equipment during the late 1800's, a time when beekeeping was of great economic importance to many communities.  His company shipped out four railroad cars of bee equipment a day.  It makes perfect since that Amos Root, a brilliant entrepreneur, began using beeswax to make candles. and while the company discontinued producing bee equipment in the early part of the 20th century, the candle business run by Amos Root's great, great grandson survives and thrives to this day.

In addition to his innovations in beekeeping equipment and candle making, Mr. Root wrote a book that is still currently published called THE ABC's of BEEKEEPING and he was founder of  "Gleanings in Bee Culture" a periodical for beekeepers still in circulation.   

More information on Amos Ives Root can be found here, here, and here

And that press?  It's a wax press used to extract honey from the honeycomb. 

If that was your guess, then you're answer was SWEET!

Photo Courtesy of AI Root Candle Company.

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