Madeline M. Turner
was an African American inventor
. who lived in Oakland, California
She invented Turner's Fruit-Press, which paved the way for further development of the fruit press
. She was granted U.S. Patent 1,180,959
in April 25, 1916. Fruit, such as oranges or lemons, were passed through a feed opening, passing through cutters that severed the fruit in half then moved along between the plates where the juice was extracted. Turner's Fruit-Press was a complex piece of engineering that in many ways foreshadowed the machines used in the food industry today. Like Turner's prototype, the efficiency of these machines depend on their ability to execute several functions at once. Turner's invention was in a sense an assembly line in itself: Fruit were moved along by plungers moving at different sppeds. The fruit was pushed through stationary knives that cut them in half, then again passed through the presser. The pulp was allowed to drop through an opening and the juice discharged through another.
Her fruit press allowed fruit
to be pushed into an opening and cut in half. The fruit would be shifted between different plates until juiced. The fruit press was called "ingenious" by a patent review committee member.