Pressing fruit to obtain juice is a practice thousands of years old. Romans recorded Celts pressing and fermenting cider in 55BC, but clearly the tradition is far older in many parts of the world. Any device that can crush a fruit and allow its juice to run out will work. Pounding with a log will suffice, and we have all seen images of Italians squishing grapes with their feet. Pressing makes the process more efficient but likely all early juicing simply allowed the liquid to run by gravity.
Interested in doing a little cider yourself, take a look here.