By the 1850s these cast iron apple peelers were being mass produced. The.peeler is clamped onto the table and an apple is placed on the prongs. Turning the wheel sets the peeler blade to work.This cast iron apple peeler would have been a household essential on a farm with apple orchards. Apples were a basic part of the 19th century diet and a peeler like this would certainly make the work of peeling apples less tedious. Bushels of apples were brought into the kitchen to be peeled and then dried, baked or preserved.