Wilhelmus Van Berkel, Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, was a butcher with a great passion for mechanics who had set out to succeed in building a system to cut the slices of meat without having to cut with a knife. After many attempts, he finally had the idea: a concave blade that rotated perpendicularly against a mobile plate that ran back and forth and on which he had been leaning against the cold cut to cut. So it was that invented the mechanical slicer. In 1898, van Berkel founded the first factory in Rotterdam. During the First World War the company's production is diversified: in addition to the slicers, also produces trade balances of great precision, lathes, mechanical instruments in general, and even airplanes. With more than a century of history Berkel slicers continue to enjoy wide market and reputation. The devices oldest of the historic company, recognized for mechanical precision and quality of the materials, but also for their refined elegance, have become veritable cult objects for collectors and antique dealers.