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Thread: History of the evaporator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    clinton corners, ny

    Default History of the evaporator

    Hey guys i was wondering if anyone had any information on the history of the evaporator and how it evolved?

    Additionally if anyone has a timeline of maple sugaring that would be awesome.

    I know most of the information i'm just having trouble putting it together. I am working up a heritage day project about maple sugaring for the general public.

    Any help would be great.
    80-100 taps
    2x6 patrick phaneuf Evaporator

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Whately, Ma.


    There is a good description in the Maple Syrup Producers Manual. Chapter 2 talks about the use of metal cauldrons and then leading to the first patent on an evaporator in 1858 and on into the 1900s to the 2000's. I would recommend you look there to get your info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Easton NY

    Default also

    The Maple Sugar Book by Helen and Scott Nearing- ( chelsa green publishing company), Almost everything you ever wanted to know about the history of sugaring.
    2x6 raised . more taps to come in o9 1 brown dog AKA GREAT FOAMY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    A, A shrewsbury vt


    to walk around this farm and see the different sites that sugar was made. the indians used hot rocks to make make sugar and pour sap on what they were cooking. then the large cast iron cooking pot on a tripod. went too the stone arch with brick chimmney and very shallow flat pans. to visit that site you see the stone arch, the fallen chimmney and the flat pans laying on the ground.in still good shape 1800,s. to then go to the next site.is a concrete foundation a small bros. lightning arch with pans off the slowly rotten arch. but they was a pre heater,2 raised flue pans and one flat front pan.early 1900,building now gone. then to a building still standing, my grandfathers, build 1930. syrup was made there till 1993. on a grimm 4x12 drop flue english tin pans,still there. to present a new sugar house,1993, 6x14 leader stainless steel drop flue pans with steamaway and r/o
    10,000 taps and adding on vac.4 liquid ring pumps, lapierre 5x14 thunderbolt, 1800 R/O


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Here's a nice timeline, courtesy of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Associstion's Maple History page

    Maple History Time Line

    1540 First written observation of North American maple trees, by Jacques Cartier, French explorer traveling up St. Lawrence River.

    1557 First written record of maples in North America yielding a sweet sap, by French scribe Andre Thevet.

    1606 Marc Lescarbot describes collection and 'distillation' of maple sap by Micmac Indians of eastern Canada. (Histoire de la Nouvelle France)

    1788 Quakers promote manufacture and use of maple sugar as an alternative to West Indian cane sugar production with slave labour.

    1790 "Maple Sugar Bubble" grows, with high hopes among national leaders that a home grown alternative to slave-produced cane sugar from the British Caribbean had been found. Key advocates include Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Benjamin Rush and Judge James Fenimore Cooper.

    1791 Dutch company buys 23,000 acres of Vermont land and attempts to hire local workers to make sugar to compete cane from West Indies. Project fails; Vermonters prefer to work their own land.

    1791 Thomas Jefferson and George Washington discuss plans to start "maple orchards" on their Virginia plantations. Most trees die or fail to thrive; Jefferson remains a maple booster.

    1810 Augers coming into popular use to drill holes for wooden spouts or sap spiles. Crude gashings or "boxing" techniques becoming obsolete.

    1818 Maple sugar selling for half the price of imported cane sugar.

    1858 Early patent for evaporating pan to D.M. Cook of Ohio.

    1859 Eli Mosher patents first metal sap spouts.

    1860 Peak maple production year for U.S.: 40 million pounds of sugar and 1.6 million gallons of syrup, from 23 states reporting to USDA.

    1861 Maine Board of Agriculture report says flat-bottomed pans are better than kettles for boiling sap.

    1872 Early evaporator design work described by Vermont inventor H. Allen Soule.

    1875 Introduction of metal sap buckets.

    1880 Cane sugar and maple sugar approximately equal in price.

    1884 Early patent for sugar evaporator, G.H. Grimm, Hudson, Ohio.

    1888 Leader Evaporator Co. founded, Enosburg Falls, Vermont. Will later popularize "drop-flue" design and become dominant U.S. maple-equipment supplier.

    1889 Small Brothers of Dunham, Quebec, begin producing evaporator with crimp- bottom pans invented by David Ingalls. Precursor design to modern Lightning evaporator.

    1890 G.H. Grimm Company, major supplier of evaporators, buckets and spouts, moves from Hudson, Ohio, to Rutland, Vermont.

    1891 McKinley Bill attempts to promote maple sugar manufacture by offering two- cent-per-pound bounty to producers. Bureaucrats and small farmers wrangle, and the effort fails.

    1893 Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association formed; instrumental in setting industry-wide standards.

    1904 Cary Maple Sugar Company incorporated in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Became largest wholesale sugar company in North America.

    1905 U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act makes adulteration of maple syrup with glucose illegal.

    1916 Metal sap-gathering tubing invented by W.C. Brower, Mayfield, New York. Proves impractical-prone to freezing at night, leakage and vulnerable to damage by deer.

    1935 Vermont institutes spring Maple Festivals; 134 towns stage events; 1,200 maple frosted cakes are submitted for judging.

    1940-1945 Maple prices frozen at $3.39 per gallon during World War II. Production suffers.

    1946 First commercial power-tapping machine marketed. 1946 1946 Proctor Maple Research Centre near Underhill, Vermont, founded by University of Vermont.

    1959 Plastic sap-gathering pipeline system patented by Nelson Griggs, Montpelier, Vermont.

    1965 Maple leaf, a unifying symbol for both English and French Canada since 1800, becomes central image on new national flag of Canada.

    Late 1970s Reverse-osmosis technology introduced to concentrate sugar content of sap before boiling.

    1982 Severe local dieback or decline of sugar maples noted in Quebec. Provincial scientists begin searching for causes.

    1985 Sugarmaker Gordon Richardson's Piggy-Back unit introduced by Small Brothers Company as the first of a new-generation of evaporator attachments to enhance performance "naturally".

    1988 North American Maple Project begins studying health of maple trees to determine progression, if any, of maple decline.

    1997 Changes in sap tubing technology offer "permanent" tubing which can be left in the woods year-round without stretching.

    1999 Introduction of the "health spout", using a smaller hole in the tree, which can be drilled by cordless drills. A smaller hole heals faster.

    As for us, Tropical Sugarin' hasn't caught on to the use of flat-bottomed pans. The traditional practice of using woks (like kettles) are still pervasive. There are some who use a series of woks for boiling off the water, but this is a small minority. So, we're kinda stucked at around 1860's technology making sugar by batches.

    Also, the use of syrup is not as popular as sugar cakes or granulated sugar forms.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Cabot Vermont


    There was an evaporator made back in the late 1800's by S.E. Pope Co. There was a king and queen pan design. I think leader bought the design and I believe that is where the king pan came from. I sold an S.E. Pope front to the historical society in Johnson Vt where it was built. This is all I could find. I used to have more info but can't find it.

    James (Jim) Pope lived in Greensboro, VT. Samuel Pope lived in Jeffersonville, VT and owned the S.E. Pope Company, manufacturers of sugaring tools. She had two additional brothers, Frank and George Pope. Annie Pope married a man named Nelson and settled in South Ryegate, VT. Rob Egecombe, Hattie's first cousin on her mother's side, lived in St. Johnsbury. It appears that Walter and Hattie's oldest child's married name was Gladys Grattam.
    Harriet Pope, known as Hattie, was born in North Hatley, Quebec on April 17, 1875. Her parents were James Pope and Harriet Edgecombe, of England. At some point, by the time she was twenty, she came to St. Johnsbury, Vermont to work as domestic help, for the Hastings family and for a Mrs. Ricker. She met Charles Walter Carpenter at a fair in Sherbrooke, Quebec, between 1893 and 1894. After a courtship of some duration, they married, probably in the fall of 1897. By 1902, they were living in Claremont, N.H. with two children, Gladys and Franklin. A third child appears to have been on the way. At some point, they returned to St. Johnsbury, where Hattie died of congestive heart failure at Brightlook Hospital on December 4th, 1962. Her address at the time of death is listed as 32 Spring Street. Charles Walter Carpenter, known as Walter, was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt. On August 16, 1873. He was the son of Charles L. Carpenter of Chelsea, Vt. and Ellen Hazelton of Barnet, Vt. He was employed as a machinist at a metal working shop in Claremont, N.H. He was an active volunteer for the New Hampshire militia, or "guards" and a member of Knights of Pythius. Walter returned to St. Johnsbury and died there on March 25, 1956 of congestive heart disease. Like Hattie, his residence at the time of death is listed as 32 Spring Street. Selina Pope, known as Lena, was Hattie's older sister. She was born in England in 1872. Like, Hattie, she came to the St. Johnsbury area. She married Charles D. Taylor, who was born April 27, 1873 in Ryegate, Vt., in 1896 in Canada. Charles Taylor died on May 2, 1904 of pneumonia. They had three children. The first died in infancy. Harold William Taylor was born July 15, 1902 and Charlene Taylor was born January 18, 1905, eight months after her father's death. Lena remarried November 13, 1907 to Nat Blanchard Trussell. Hattie had several other siblings living in the region.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

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