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American Treasures at the Fenimore Art Museum

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Record 88/116
Copyright New York State Historical Association and/or The Farmers' Museum, Inc.
Object ID N0368.1955
Title Cider Making On Long Island
Artist Davis, William M.
Object Name Painting
Early Date 1865
Late Date 1875
Exhibit label line3 In addition to aiding in plowing and harvesting, horses allowed American farmers to conduct relatively complex operations with a modest amount of machinery. In this painting the entire process of traditional cider making is depicted. A draft horse powers a large wooden wheel to crush apples into a pulp in a circular trough. With the wheel pivoting on a post, and guided by the trough, the horse needed only a young boy to casually prod it along. The pulp was encased in straw or cloth and made into "cakes" of a uniform size by a frame, here leaning against a tree. Six to ten "cakes" were stacked on the press bed to form the "cheese." A large wooden screw, visible under the shingle roof, was turned by hand to compress the "cheese" and the juice flowed. Here the farmer is straining the juice through a straw filter into a wooden cask. Other casks are in the foreground. Most cider was fermented to a stable condition to last throughout the year, but some sweet cider was drunk during the harvest.
Description Marks: At lower right corner signed: ' W.M. Davis" Initials "W.D." appear on the left barrel in the center foreground.
Classification Academic Art--Painting/Drawing--Scene--Genre
Dimensions H-17 W-28 inches
Material Oil on canvas
Place of Origin Suffolk County, NY

Prior written permission is required for any reproduction, redistribution, publication, or other use of the images in any media, including but not limited to, printed or electronic media. Contact the Office of the Registrar, New York State Historical Association, PO Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326, (607) 547-1444, to request permission.    
Last modified on: November 04, 2005