Potato Set Cutter - PEI Potato Museum
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History Of The Artefact:
This Potato Set Cutter was manufactured in the United States and used on PEI. Farmers on the Island have been producing potatoes for the world since 1790. PEI potatoes are grown for three specific markets: seed, table and processing. Seed potatoes are sold to commercial growers.
A potato set cutter was used to cut potatoes into sections, called 'sets' that were later planted for the next year's potato crop. Whole potatoes are used to make 'sets', each set is a section of a potato containing at least 2-3 eyes.
This particular potato cutter was manufactured by a man named, L.A Aspinwall , between the 1890s to the 1920s. L.A Aspinwall was the founder of the Aspinwall Manufacturing Company. L.A. Aspinwall started off in the potato machinery business when he designed and developed a new type of potato planter in 1861.
After 20 years of work, Aspinwall had successfully sold a few of his planters. With this encouragement, L.A Aspinwall opened a factory at Three Rivers, Mich., in 1884, selling 50 planters the first year.
L.A. Aspinwall's Business continued at Three Rivers until 1891 when the company moved to Jackson. Mich. By 1900, the firm was building potato planters, sprayers, cutters, sorters, weeders and diggers. The company also introduced a two-row potato digger, powered by a gasoline engine in 1919. Aspinwall had the most competitive line of potato machinery anywhere in the world at the time.