Categories: Business and Industry, Emergence of Modern America, Stonington, Who Knew?

BF Clyde and the Steam-powered Cider Mill – Who Knew?

Steam-powered cider press at BF Clyde's in Mystic
Steam-powered cider press at BF Clyde’s in Mystic

…that the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the US still operates in Mystic. 

Apple cider, traditionally a mildly alcoholic drink, and its production date back to the earliest days of English settlement in the Colonies.  In 1881, Connecticut resident Benjamin F. Clyde began producing and selling cider in Mystic. At first, Clyde pressed his apples at local mills. In 1897 he purchased his own mill, expanded his business and bought a press and accessories from Syracuse manufacturer Boomer and Boschert. To operate the equipment, Clyde used a 10-horsepower Olney and Warren center crank steam engine and boiler. Today, BF Clyde’s Cider Mill in Mystic continues to produce cider as it was made over a century ago and is the oldest steam-powered mill in the US.  The American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated it a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1994.

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