This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The progress made in the art of drying fruits and vegetables has been very great of late years. It does not pay any longer to string apples and peaches like beads, and hang them from the garret window. There are, however, some small machines, such as the American drier, with which any one who wishes to dry his own, car still save the fruit for his own family use, and perhaps save money by not having to buy. But those who have large quantities to do, and who can make a business of dried fruit, by the expenditure of one or two thousand dollars can put up driers, which, weight for weight, will put fruit on the market at lower rates than the perfect and fresh gathered fruit can be. There-is now the Williams, a Michigan invention, and the Alden, both in some respects rivals. We have before us circulars of both, and both have good points, the agents of each, of course, dwell on these separate advantages to such good purpose, that after a careful perusal the reader will be most likely to feel that both are decidedly the best However, on reading them we have derived the advantage of being more than ever impressed, that the fruit driers in their several inventions deserve well of the community.
Only imagine - as the Williams' claims - 600 pounds of apples dried in twenty-four hours, at a cost of six and a half cents per pound! We have to pay five cents on our streets for a "twenty ounce" apple weighing less than half a pound.