This is called a sauce maker and it is used to get the juice out of fruits for canning and preserving. I remember my mom borrowing one when I was younger and we made applesauce to can. After using it, I vowed to someday have one -- it made a laborious task so easy! No more peeling and coring the apples, just cook them down and put through the sauce maker.
I found a few different models on Amazon.com and bought one a few months ago, in preparation for a huge amount of canning I anticipated doing while 8 months pregnant -- it was a beautiful dream. Our tomatoes are ripe, so the girls and I tried it out yesterday. Emma picked the tomatoes, carrying them in the front of her dress just a like a little pioneer girl. I assembled the confusing contraption and we filled the hopper with the tomatoes.
The objective is to put soft fruit in, squish it down with the plunger and turn the crank to deliver the juices and pulp in one bowl and the skins and seeds to another.
It worked beautifully! But don't just take my word for it....
It was a site to behold. The reviews from Amazon said that it splattered a lot, so I took precautions with the girls' clothes and I wore an apron. I didn't think it splattered at all actually and was very impressed with the product -- I give it 5 stars! The crank turned easily and my scantily clad children took turns making sauce. We were all a bit more excited than would be considered normal. ;)
Sauce in one bowl and skin and seeds in another....
We had about 20 ripe tomatoes of all sizes and varieties and they made about 5 cups of sauce. I cooked the sauce down at a simmer with added garlic, salt, a bit of sugar, and italian seasonings. It was so yummy, I had to take a picture of my dinner.
Cheese filled ravioli, fresh tomato sauce, and summer squash.