Tomatoville® Gardening Forums

Tomatoville® Gardening Forums (
-   Preserving Your Harvest (
-   -   Operation Old Pressure Cooker. (

Worth1 February 22, 2017 06:43 PM

Operation Old Pressure Cooker.
2 Attachment(s)
Last Sunday I bought an old National 25 quart pressure cooker.
More than likely close to 100 years old.
I wasn't going to start a thread on it's restoration but I decided to anyway, some of you might get a kick out of it.
I am in the process of polishing the top.
It is the one on the left.


Worth1 February 22, 2017 06:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the proud old name made right here in the USA.:yes:

AlittleSalt February 22, 2017 06:58 PM

That one is BIG. It looks like it is cleaning up well.

wildcat62 February 22, 2017 08:05 PM

Looking good. I wondered how you were going to clean it up.

whistech February 22, 2017 08:30 PM

Looks great Worth, I have an old National Pressure canner that looks like yours but I think it may be a smaller size and I'll look tomorrow to see. It was my Grandmothers canner and I remember my Mother canning with it when I was growing up.

PhilaGardener February 22, 2017 09:42 PM

Good old solid metal there! Great find!

Worth1 February 23, 2017 12:07 PM

I looked and found information on wiki about national canners.
According to them or who ever it was that contributed to wiki they started in 1917.
Then went on to become National Presto now just Presto.
I decided to start this thread not only to show off my old canners but to discuss the use of these and what we have today.

The old ones like mine you have to darn near drive the things.:lol:
But they are what I was raised up with.
One was an old Kook KwicK with the band around it and the other was an old All American that is different than the ones they have today.
Both were huge, both were ran at the same time on the stove.
I remember where my mother picked up the old KooK KwicK it was in Mt Grove Missouri at the once a month rummage sale they had in town.
I think she paid something like $5 or $10 for it, this was back in the 60's.

I have no idea what my sister was up to but it didn't have a darn thing to do with canning preserving or cooking of any kind.
She was more or less the maid.
It was my job to take care of the critters and the kitchen stuff.
I can still see my little 5 foot 2 inch French mother lifting this huge canners around the kitchen with a home rolled cigarette in her lips.
Once the jars were cooled it was my job to haul them down to the basement and put them away on the shelves.
I was a wee thing at the time and had to be vary careful not to drop any and break them.

Sadly I have came to the realization not many of us are left around that know how to operated these old canners.
They are very safe today and have a redundant system to let pressure off.
The weight and the over pressure pop out plug.
Mine just has the adjustable pressure release valve and the other valve that can be closed all of the way or adjusted to let steam off at any given rate.
The adjustable safety release valve should NOT be able to hold any more than about 20 PSI or maybe around 21, 22 NO MORE and then it should go off.
I have mine set for just a little over 12 PSI when I use it plus I never get involved in anything else.
These old canners can hold one heck of a lot more pressure but I dont want to rupture one just to see how much.:no:

What do I like about the old ones over the new ones?
That pop off release valve, when it goes it can be closed when the pressure goes down.
That darn plug is out and you will have a geyser (Old Faithful) on your hands. :lol:
This will happen if the steam vent is plugged on your weighted canner and you aren't looking at the gauge.
None of this is of concern as long as you follow the rules and instructions. :yes:

Now back to the restoration.
I am using wet dry sand paper with oil/kerosene and carburetor choke cleaner to get the old grease and such off.
It is quite the job.:lol:
No way will it look completely new.


Worth1 February 23, 2017 01:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Next I have tested the old pop off valve and it goes at 21 PSI the old gauge is fine too and is of the type that can be calibrated, no need for a new gauge.

Here is where I just about bet the old pressure cooker was bought.
It was bought I bet in McKinney Texas at a hardware store called JP DOWELL.
The people I bought it from said they were from the Dallas area McKinney is just north of Dallas.
Here is an old ghost sign on a building in McKinney.
It served the area from 1877 on up into the 20th century.
Here is a link to the information.
Here is the ghost sign.
Coming next is the reason for my conclusion.


Worth1 February 23, 2017 01:13 PM

1 Attachment(s)
At some time in the canners life the gauge was changed I bet the gauge was purchased where the canner was originally purchased maybe.
Here is the gauge from the canner.

Worth1 February 23, 2017 02:37 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Before going any farther I decided to put it through some safety and performance trials.
Got two gallons of water in it and checking for leaks.
In my opinion doing this while it is hot is better than doing it cold with an air compressor.
So far so good bringing the pressure up a little at a time.


Worth1 February 23, 2017 03:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
She got all the way up to about eighteen pounds before she let off steam with the pressure release all the way down.
The pressure dropped before I could take the picture.
Works for me.
I will continue to let it cycle a few times and turn it off.
Very happy with the performance of the old gal.:D:yes:
No leaks what so ever.



Worth1 February 23, 2017 05:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here she is bathing in the sun.
I cleaned up the rest of her inside and out even the bottom.
The rest is just odds and ends that need to be done on the handles and so on.
I washed her good with detergent and then rinsed.
The next time you see her she will be at work cooking and canning.
One last thing I did was go over the canner with a scotch brite pad to get rid of that ridiculous mirror shine.


PhilaGardener February 23, 2017 06:30 PM

Good show, Worth! That canner will outlast all of us, particularly with a little care.:yes:

Folks just don't know how to deal with mechanical things anymore. If there isn't a app for it, they better not run it! :shock:

wildcat62 February 23, 2017 07:19 PM

Ready to be put to good use. Great find....

Worth1 February 23, 2017 07:42 PM

[QUOTE=PhilaGardener;621139]Good show, Worth! That canner will outlast all of us, particularly with a little care.:yes:

Folks just don't know how to deal with mechanical things anymore. If there isn't a app for it, they better not run it! :shock:[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=wildcat62;621149]Ready to be put to good use. Great find....[/QUOTE]

Thanks both of you and everyone else that took the time to look.
It took years to find this thing around where I live.
I think I will buy a brisket hot smoke it and then pressure cook it for a test run.
I sent a pictuer to the people I bought it from they were very happy it was back in use.
I hope their grandmother is looking down from heaven with pride that her old canner is running again.:)
Why am I so nostalgic and passionate about this stuff I have no idea.:?!?:
My neighbor Henry liked it too.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:08 AM.

★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★