The Meat Slicer of Yesterday and Today
Since the invention of the original meat slicer by Wilhelm Van Berkel back in 1898, the machine has gone through a lot of changes. It came from necessity, as cutting slices of lunch meats and sausages all day was getting to be too much to deal with. After Berkel introduced his contraption, slicing meats became something that was easy to do, making many butchers extremely happy.
The meat slicers of the past were operated in a much different manner than the ones we use today. If you were in the year 1898 and you wanted sliced meat, you would have to manually crank it. These tools weren't readily available in the homes like they are today, so if you wanted sliced meat you had no choice but to go to the butcher shop or deli.
A Collector's Item
While the vintage-style hand crank is something of interest to many people, they can be hard to find. This is because the Berkel meat slicers stopped being produced in the 1960s. Since technology was becoming a part of everyone's home and place of business, the electric food slicer took over.
Of course there are still people who like to use the old fashioned crank. If you're interested in finding one, your best bet would be look through antique stores, flea markets, and online auctions. They can be found but you may have to really look hard for them. As long as the slicer is in good working order there is no reason why the hand crank meat slicer could not provide you with everything that you need.
There are also manual ones that are new. These may not resemble the ones that first came on the scene but they don't use electricity either. Even though they're not as popular as the electrics, they're still being produced and you may be able to find them in your nearest cutlery store or online.
Electricity speeds things up
Those who enjoy the speed and the accuracy of the electric version enjoy all of the different things that they can slice up in a matter of minutes. Of course someone with a hand crank model can slice the same things but it will take a little longer to complete the job. Besides meat, you can cut up all sorts of other foods. Your machine turns into a potato chip slicer, vegetable slicer, even a bread slicer.
The possibilities with a good food slicer are endless. By having one of these in your home you will be able to enjoy the freshest of lunch meats and have a great time preparing all sorts of goodies for your friends and family. Just make sure that you take a little time to practice with it as it does take a little time to get used to it.