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From the Archives: Pricing Potato Peelers

111 years ago this week at Bath Iron Works, Edward O. Cutler was calculating how much it would cost to install an automated potato peeler in the scout cruiser USS Chester.  Calculating materials, labor, and company profit, he estimated $186.06 for the project.

Note: the USS Chester was one of the first two US Navy vessels to have a steam turbine engine, which, in 1908, placed it at the cutting edge of naval design.  The potato peeler was also at the forefront of naval technology.  They were considered state-of-the-art equipment on luxury ocean liners and advanced naval vessels, or, as the magazine Popular Electricity gushed, one of the “bewildering number and variety of direct current motors” that powered this new breed of ships.  

 

Draftsman’s notebook, kept by Edward O. Cutler, 1906-1908.  Maine Maritime Museum MS-33 5.9.

“Electricity on our Reconstructed Battleships.”  Popular Electricity v. 2 no. 7 (November 1909): 423.

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