1,000 Bushels a Day...
A Bit of Webster History
That’s how many apples a large steam evaporator could dry in Webster in the 1880s.
Drying apples reduced their weight by 1/8, each 100 pounds down to 12, making shipping much less expensive. The fruit was in high demand in Europe as well as at home. By 1888, Rochester was the recognized center of the evaporated and dried fruit industry in the United States... and Webster at the center of the center, employing a small army of pickers, evaporator attenders, and packers.
The industry grew from the frugality of pioneers who ate, cooked and shared all they could, then dried what was left for winter use. Any surplus dried apples were sold.
It will be interesting to see what industries similarly grow from the small businesses that started in Webster during the recent pandemic.
When the Webster Museum can safely open, please visit to learn more about apple-growing and the dried apple industry in Webster.