In the 19th century, meat preservation was a serious business, though quite messy and time-consuming. A family usually made sausage at the same time it butchered a hog. Pork was ground and mixed with several spices as a means of preservation. A sausage stuffer was then used to force the ground meat into a casing, which was usually made from hog intestines.
The DAR Museum’s large, cumbersome sausage stuffer consists of wood and tin. The casing would fit over the funnel-like structure, then the handle would be raised and lowered to push the meat into the casing. This mid-to-late 19th-century example was used by Rebecca Hendrickson Conover (1805–1892) of New Jersey. Today’s stainless-steel sausage makers weigh only three pounds, a vast improvement over this 25-pound example.
American Spirit, Volume 141, Number 5, September/October 2007, Page 11
Photo courtesy of the DAR Museum