Market Lavington Museum

A couple of mincers

At Market Lavington Museum, we have several of these hand operated machines for mincing meat. Two of them are on display, clamped to the kitchen table in our museum cottage.

This large, sturdy gadget, the Universal Meat Chopper, was made by Landers, Frary and Clark in New Britain, Conneticut, USA. We believe it dates from about the 1930s.

So why is it in a museum that preserves the history of Market Lavington and Easterton, in Wiltshire, England? Well, it was used at Clyffe Hall, a large house in Market Lavington, that became a hotel, but is now a home again. No doubt its kitchens often had to provide meals for large numbers of people.

Meat was fed into the hole at the top and was forced through the machine by a large screw, attached to the turning handle. The minced meat came out of holes in a disc at the other end. The size of the mince could be adjusted by changing to a different disc with larger or smaller holes.

Next to this big mincer, we have a much smaller, domestic version. This one was made in England, by the family firm of Spong and Co, who set up business in the middle of the 19th century.

Our small model is called ‘The Handiest’ and dates from early in the 20th century.