A Treatise on Cyder-Making, Founded on long Practice and Experience; with A Catalogue of Cyder-Apples of Character, in Herefordshire and Devonshire. Their different Qualities and Applications in making either Mellow or Rough Cyder; and the whole Process of Cyder-Making throughout. With instructions for meliorating Cyder, Preservatives, and Remedies for preventing and curing the Diseases incident to Cyder. To which is prefixed, A Dissertation on Cyder and Cyder-Fruit - Hugh Stafford, Anonymous 1753 - Printed for E. Cave, London - First Edition Legendary and rare first edition of this anonymous work, all of which is generally but erroneously attributed to Hugh Stafford who contributed the sixteen page ‘Dissertation on Cyder and Cyder-Fruit’ at the beginning.

Covering the entire process from identifying and growing the best cider apples, collection, pressing, fermentation, racking, preserving and remedial action for a variety of issues ‘
which are incident to Cyder’. With fold-out engraving of cider press (opp. p.32), in-text wood-cut diagrams to pages 43 and 68 (‘One side of the framed Press...’.) and wood-cut decorations to pages v, 47, and 61.

As Cyder therefore is generally allowed to be an wholesome drink, and as it is the natural product of our own country, he will surely be thought to contribute something towards the good of the public, who gives infallible directions for making it universally agreeable by varrying it so as to suit every palate, and by improving the flavour and the quality, both of the rough and the smooth, divesting it of its tendency to produce cholics, and giving it the sparkle of Champaign, without an eager and windy fermentation, and rendering it more spirituous than a small wine tho' less inflaming’. [Preface]

An influential work, Benjamin Franklin, who was partial to a drop himself, ordered three copies to be reprinted as pamphlets and distributed amongst the New England farmers after failing with their vineyards. It was plagiarised into various publications including encyclopaedias, cookbooks and later reference works related to cider.
  Provenance: Joseph Carless (1842-1909), naturalist, JP and Mayor of Hereford, a centre of British cider making, with his illustrated bookplate ‘Veritas de Terra Orta Est’ and ‘If thou art borrowed by a friend right welcome shall he be To read, to study, not to lend but to return to me’ [Reference : Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale]. Later ex-libris of E. D. Nicholson, of Oswestry, Shropshire.

Reference: Eberhard Buehler, Viniana, S125. Noling, Beverage Literature: A Bibliography, 388. Ben Kinmont, Gastronomy, Catalogue 13, 92. Not in Simon, Bitting, Cagle, Vicaire, Bibliographie Gastronomique, Crahan (One-Hundred Sixteen Uncommon Books), Maggs (Catalogue 645),

Quarto (binding size 20.8x16.8 cm, page size 19.7x15.9 cm) pp. [2 (blank pages added by binder)] [2 (title, and blank verso)] iii-v (’Preface’) [3 (’The Contents’ and ‘Errata’)] 68 [46 (blank pages added later by binder for thickness)]. Trimmed to lower edges, not affecting the text apart from the last line on the title page (should read ‘[Price Two Shillings.]’.

Sections: Preface (iii-v);
A Dissertation on Cyder and Cyder-Fruit, By Hugh Stafford, of Pynesin Devonshire, Esq. - In a Letter to a Friend; bearing date 1727’ (1-16); A Treatise on Cyder (17-61); A Supplement ‘Containing some directions omitted in their proper places (62-8).

Later editions noted – 1755 ‘Second Edition with Additions’. Printed for D. Henry, and R. Cave, at St. John's-Gate. [64pp]; 1769 ‘A new edition with additions’. Printed for F. Newbery, at the Corner of St. Paul's Church-Yard [iv,64p].


On Benjamin Franklin and ‘A Treatise on Cyder-Making’ – from Webster’s West Hartford History (web 2017).

The Antediluvians were all very sober
For they had no Wine, and they brew’d no October;
All wicked, bad Livers, on Mischief still thinking,
For there can’t be good Living when there is not good Drinking

Around 1745, Benjamin Franklin penned these draft lines of a song on the virtues of drinking. “October” refers to hard apple cider – in that month the apple orchards growing on every farm began to drop their fruit, and farmers carted them to the local mill to process them into cider.

After mostly failed experiments with planting vineyards in New England, big thinkers like Benjamin Franklin promoted the development of “cyder” making instead. In 1754 Franklin ordered 3 copies of a manual on the art from his friend William Strahan, a printer in London. He gave a copy to the New Jersey printer James Parker, who probably published and distributed it as a pamphlet.’
  Finely bound in recent three-quarter brown speckled calf over matching marbled boards, spine with raised bands ruled and lettered in gilt, red morocco label lettered in gilt, edges tinted red.   Condition: Very good plus, thin 1cm long worming mark to upper edge of first two pages not affecting text, light moisture marks to first few pages and toning to last few pages, edges trimmed, only affecting lower edge of price on title page in fine binding.   Ref: 109357   Price: HK$ 42,000