Food preparation in earlier days was more labor-intensive in every way, as can be seen by the antique meat grinder on display at Delaware County Historical Society. Inside a wooden box is a spiked wheel to pulverize the meat into pieces. A lid cover has strips of sharp metal to shred the meat of choice; chicken, deer, cow, or even bison. The device had to be handspun via the large handle on its right. The grinder could be used for a variety of meats, in different forms, as seen in the 1824 cookbook, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats penned by a Miss Leslie of Philadelphia. It was published in Boston and New York and was in its seventh edition by the 1824 version, so her expertise was highly regarded and widely read. Among Miss Leslie’s recipes were instructions for boiling terrapins, cooking a boned turkey, pickling oysters and a-la-mode beef. However, one easy dish used by the most helpful hand-cranked mechanism was the basic burgers. While they were created in Hamburg, Germany, (thus the name hamburgers) they appeared in this European port town as more of a steak for sailors and other dock workers. With the advent of the meat grinder in the mid-1800’s, more ports such as New York and Chester saw the beefy creation find its way to their shores. The buns, however, weren’t added until the late 19th century or early 20th century and history debates whether it was a cook in a small town in Texas that stuck a Hamburg steak between two buns or if it was White Castle who claims fame with its “Hamburger Sandwich.” Either way, the hand-cranked meat grinders helped make domestic and large-scale meal preparation easier until further industrialization. The hand-cranked meat grinder can be seen at the home of DCHS at 408 Avenue of the States, please call 610-359-0832 or 610-872-0502. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. It is closed on Tuesdays. Appointments are also available upon request. Parking is free in the lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot. Memberships are encouraged and donations are graciously accepted. This meat grinder tore meat into pieces by closing the lid and turning the hand crank.