4. Russ and Daughters Apple Peeler

An original Russ apple peeler is on display in the second gallery, World City, and was the star of the first trailer for the exhibition over the summer. It was used predominantly to peel Granny Smith apples used in the chopped herring salad, an item still available at Russ & Daughters today. It was a classic melding of old and new traditions adapting basic immigrant food taste to what was available in the New World.

The peeler is a “poetic encapsulation of the story of New York City,” says Sarah Henry, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of the City of New York. It helps tell the larger story about New York City’s immigrant culture, explains Henry: “If we want to understand how the city has changed, understanding those new arrivals is the key to that.”