One of the most used gadgets in my kitchen drawer is this little aluminum juicer. With a little invesigation I discovered that in 1949 the ‘Barbery’ Juicer’s design was credited to Lucille Barbery a corporate officer of Foley Manufacturing. Patent applied for in 1949, and issued in 1951. I happened to find a nice profile of her from 1954, She had started as a stenographer in the 20s and made her bones at the corporation doing product demos of the Foley Food Mill during the depression. Note the 1954 corporate profile mentions her hairsyle and eye color, but in the last paragraph she condemns women in business who only strive to be ‘corporate cherubim’.

The design is lightyears ahead of previous improvements on juicers. Molded from rolled aluminum, it works on elbow grease, hangs up, fits over any container and usually doesn’t jam the drawer. Previous juicers were multipart devices or large molded things with a base for catching the juice, costly to manufacture. I consider it an archetype of kitchenware design, since similar items are still being sold. I keep mine polished a bit with a melamine sponge and a bit of baking soda. Unless it gets completely bent out of shape it should last forever.

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