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Looking For Info On My New 75 Year Old Slicer

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,
I recently purchased a Berkel non-electric, lever operated meat slicer and I'm in the process of cleaning it up and restoring it to as close to new as I'm able. It's been sitting in a shed for the last 15 or 20 years so it needs a real good cleaning most of all. It appears to be all there and now that I've got everything moving again I'm anxious to see it slicing meat for jerky, but first I want to completely dismantle it and clean it up. As near as I can tell, it was made around 1940 or a little later judging by the patent dates that run from 1928 to 1940.
It's fairly small as commercial slicers go but it still weighs a ton. I suspect that maybe these would have been made for smaller stores and cafes.
I have a serial number, but no model number and in my research I've been able to find info on Berkel slicers going back over 100 years, but nothing on a lever drive. I'd sure be grateful for any information that you folks can provide.

post #2 of 14
Cant help with any info on your slicer, but I've never seen a lever drivin slicer before. Definitely a cool find. That will look great all cleaned and painted up.
post #3 of 14
Cool find. I saw one in an antique store. They wanted more than I'd of paid for it. Don't know much else about them.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
You don't happen to recall what they were asking by any chance?
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by Blue Hill View Post

You don't happen to recall what they were asking by any chance?

North side of $800...

And it was crusty.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

North side of $800...

And it was crusty.

Yikes! Paid just north of $100 Canadian Monopoly Money. Sounds like I did alright.
Thanks dirtsailor!
post #7 of 14

Never even knew they made such a thing.  How does it work?  Do you move the lever up and down to spin the blade?

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dward51 View Post

Never even knew they made such a thing.  How does it work?  Do you move the lever up and down to spin the blade?
It's a push-pull thing. Push the lever ahead and the blade rotates as the carriage moves ahead and pull the lever back and the carriage returns and the blade coasts. The meat cradle is spring loaded as well so that the meat is held against the blade by spring tension as it is sliced.
post #9 of 14
I have one of these as well. Unfortunately mine is missing a lot of parts, and I can't find any numbers on it. Sounds like you got a heck of deal, restored they are worth a pretty penny! They work like a dream too, a local restaurant has one, and they have been using since the 50s.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks NEDtorious. I've been communicating with some of the nice folks at Old Slicer Parts and Berkel Midwest. So far I've found that for the most part, parts aren't available, as you I'm sure already know. There's a gentleman at Berkel Midwest who's off over the Holidays who has a lot of experience with the older Berkels. I'm hoping to hear from him next week with a little more info. Hopefully I can at least get a model number which would make the info search a little easier. I'll be sure to pass along any information that I get. I have my machine all dismantled and cleaned up and will start the reassembly today. I'm anxious to try it out.
post #11 of 14

Maybe this owner could help?




A little history


Company Overview
In 1898, W.A. Van Berkel, a butcher in Rotterdam of the Netherlands, invented a way to slice more meat to better serve his customers. The result of his innovation was the world's first meat-slicing machine. It not only changed the way slicing was done in his butcher shop, it revolutionized the way people prepare food all over the world. By 1907, Berkel machines were being used in England, Belgium, France, Russia, China, Mexico and Canada.

In 1909, manufacturing of the first American machines began at the U.S. Slicing Machine Company in Chicago, IL. Six years later, the company had outgrown its space in Chicago, building a new factory in LaPorte, IN and changing its name to Berkel, Incorporated. Recently, Berkel relocated to its present location in Troy, OH.


This from a appraisal site "just ask" written three years ago.


The ANTIQUE US SLICING MACHINE LA PORTE, INDIANA has an estimated value on the secondary retail market for an of average of $1200.00-1600.00, depending on the condition and where it is for sale at. One sold on Ebay Feb 2012 for 1300.00. These will typically sell higher in an Antique Shop or Private sale compared to an auction. If you are thinking of selling, you might want to check your local Antique Shops in the area to see what yours or one like it would sell for or has sold for. As antiques and collectibles are subject in selling price to different areas across the country..( Larger Metropolitan Areas bring higher prices then Smaller Cities. )

Edited by Maple Sticks - 1/1/16 at 7:49am
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Maple Sticks. The one on eBay looks to be in about the same shape as mine. It comes complete with the original meat tray which is, as far as I know, the only piece that I don't have. I was happy to see the photo that showed the actual US patent numbers, mine only shows the dates of the Canadian patents. I'll do a little poking around on the US patent office site to see the drawings etc. The numbers will make that a whole lot easier, otherwise it's a real slow process.
Thanks again. I'll post updates.
Happy New Year to everyone!
post #13 of 14

I have what may be the exact same slicer, except my patent plate goes from 1928-1938 so I think mine is two years older than yours, but otherwise the same. Same lever, mechanisms, colour,. I just scored it today for my future pizzeria with everything old world theme including the wood burning firebrick oven surrounded by my stone work.


I'll put up some pics as soon as I can. I plan to clean, disassemble, assess and proceed accordingly in a mechanical and cosmetic restoration.


I'm out west in Squamish. B.C.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well I took it all apart cleaned everything and got it all back together. I still want to paint it, but that will have to wait for milder weather.
I'm happy to report that it works very, very well. I have had to wait until today to actually slice up a roast for jerky, but the day I got it back together, I tried a potato and was able to make paper thin slices with no trouble at all. I had a pound of bulk head cheese and sliced it up with no trouble as well.
The other day, I baked bread and sliced up 4 loaves in no time. I found that with the bread, it sliced nicer when I held the loaf firmly against the blade. I didn't use the clamp on the slicer until I got down to the last couple of inches, because it is quite strong and I didn't want to squash the bread. The bread was still a little warm when I sliced it, next time I'll let it cool a little longer I think.
This morning came the real test and I sliced up a 3 pound sirloin tip roast in 1/4" slices in no time. The meat was just barely thawed and it worked great, slicing the whole thing with no trouble, right to the very end.
Clean up is quite simple, the two pieces that you need to take off, can be removed without tools. I wear cut resistant Kevlar gloves when I do the cleanup as the blade is deadly sharp and one slip could result in a nasty cut.
Here's what I found out from the nice folks at Berkel Midwest.
The slicer is a model "H" and they quit making them right around 1940. I have seen pictures of older Berkel electric slicers that look like they have the same carriage and thickness adjustment, if anyone is looking for parts, this might be worth looking into.
I plan to keep my eyes open for an opportunity to get the tray that goes on the side and in the meantime, I'll try to make one, based on the pictures in the eBay listing that Maple Sticks showed us.
I also made a simple wrench to remove the blade which was easily done.
The Stone Guy, if I can help in any way with your project, please don't hesitate to shout out.
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