Separators, Churns Milking Machines
(Page 3 of 4)
Making butter from the cream
Some experts estimate that at least 6,000 versions of the butter churn have been invented since the goatskin device used in Biblical days. The U.S. market was flooded with butter churns of every size and shape at the conclusion of the Civil War, from wooden models that resembled small barrels to stoneware and, later, glass churns. Some were home-made like the butter they produced, while others were industrial products.
Among the most collectible churns available today are the glass-bottomed variety mass-produced in the early 1900s for use on family farms. The most rare of this type is the 1-quart Dazey No. 10, which has brought as much as $1,000 at auction. The more-common, larger sizes sell for $85 to $150 in antique shops today.
Other tools for making homemade butter could be ordered from Sears and other companies or purchased from the local hardware store. Among them were a seemingly endless array of butter boxes, carriers, crocks, cutters, molds, stamps, paddles, prints and tabletop butter workers. Butter molds made the final product both attractive and easy to store and use. Regardless of the method used to make butter, the homemade product brought needed money to cash-poor farms across America.
Look Ma, no hands!
Cow milkers - or milking machines - aren't exactly collectible, but they have an interesting history, as well. The first models, which appeared between 1865 and 1870, promised to end one of the most irksome of all farm chores: milking cows by hand.
One early manufacturer claimed:
Our new milking machines will fill a 14-quart pail in seven minutes flat. The milk gathers no impurities, as in the usual method of handling the teats and udders, in which numerous scales of skin, hair and other cow-flavored matter drop into the milk pail. And the relief from exertion of the wrists and arms is most welcome to the milker.
William Crozier, of Long Island, N.Y., introduced a Scottish-made milking machine to the American market in 1877, which he claimed had been used in a noted Scotch dairy for eight years. It consisted of four slender metal probes, which were inserted into the teats. To these tubes of pure silver were attached four slightly larger rubber hoses that terminated in one spout just below the rim of an open milk pail. No suction apparatus was attached. Apparently, it was purely a gravity-flow device. After milking, the manufacturer recommended that the tubes be soaked in a pail of cold water before being used again.