The Arnold Steam Sterilizer

The Arnold Steam Sterilizer

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Steam sterilizer consisting of an outer, low-domed, cylindrical cover or hood with an arched strap handle that fits over an inner cylindrical container on a perforated cylindrical shaft mounted inside a basin attached to a shallow copper pan; removable, strap-handled caddy or lifter with circular cutouts for seven, eight-ounce, colorless glass bottles (five remain, one has cotton stopper). Both cover and inner cylinder are embossed "THE ARNOLD (arched) / STEAM / STERILIZER / PAT. JUL. 8. 79 MAY 9. 82. / WILMOT CASTLE & CO. / ROCHESTER.N.Y.", all in sans serif letters. Two-part molded bottles marked "WILMOT CASTLE (arched) / & CO / ROCHESTER / N.Y. (curved)".
Wilmot Castle (1855-1941) founded Wilmot Castle & Co. in Rochester, NY, in 1883; it was incorporated in 1903 as Wilmot Castle Co. The firm manufactured sterilizers and bacteriological apparatus for laboratory, medical, dental and hospital use as well as for the home.
This device, however, was patented by William E. Arnold, also of Rochester, NY, as a grain cooker or steamer (U.S. Patent No. 257,810 dated May 9, 1882, an improvement on his earlier patent, No. 217,314, received on July 8, 1879). In keeping with Arnold's original intent, Wilmot Castle & Co. also produced "The Arnold Automatic Steam Cooker", which looked and functioned the same as their sterilizer (see DL*251349.0193).
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
patent date
place made
United States: New York, Rochester
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
tin (overall material)
iron wire (rims material)
copper (bottom pan material)
glass (bottles material)
cotton (stopper material)
overall: 13 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in; 34.29 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Kenneth E. Jewett
Food Culture
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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