Today we have a lovely Enterprise Tinned Meat Chopper No. 32, made in Philadelphia sometime after 1886 and used by the Hutton family of The Woodlands, Clopper.  Where is Clopper, you ask?  Well, basically it’s now Gaithersburg (or Germantown, depending on your personal bias).  The neighborhood, located along Clopper Road (go figure) between Gaithersburg and the earliest Germantown settlement, was named for Francis Cassatt Clopper (1786-1868), a local businessman.  Among his many accomplishments, he helped ensure that the B&O Railroad’s Metropolitan Line would go through Montgomery County, and he donated the land to build St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.  His estate included Clopper’s Mill, and a large house called The Woodlands.  Clopper’s daughter Mary Augusta married William Rich Hutton (1826-1901), an engineer, and the couple inherited the estate where they raised their five children.  Today most of Clopper’s land is in Seneca Creek State Park, including the sites of the mill and the house; the mill ruins are still visible but the house itself is gone, having burned down in the 1960s.

As for the item itself, it is helpfully marked with its manufacturer (Enterprise) and patent dates (1883 and 1886) – see photos below.  I believe that No. 32 refers to the size, and that “tinned” refers to the metal.  Our example is no longer shiny and tinned-looking, as it was found on the old Woodlands estate by a park ranger sometime after the house burned down.  The grinder was designed to be bolted to a table or work surface – smaller, more portable versions could be clamped rather than bolted – and then, you know, you put the raw meat in the funnel and turn the crank and out comes hamburger on the other end.  (Basically.)  Oddly enough, the few items picked up and donated by Park Ranger Graham after the fire included, along with a few blacksmith-type tools and miscellaneous building pieces, another large meat grinder.  We don’t have any records of where exactly he found these items; maybe they came from an outbuilding, where old tools were stored… or maybe the Huttons really liked their meat.

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