Antique Butter Churns and Kitchen Collectibles

Missouri couple whips up remarkable collection of antique butter churns


| June 2000



Highly sought one-quart Dazeys

Highly sought one-quart Dazeys, left to right: the 'bevel edge' (made in 1906-12); 'round label' (1912-22); and the 'slope shoulder' (1922 patent era). A one-quart churn would make about a half-pint of butter, Dea Allen says.

Butch and Dea Allen have, uh, beaten the odds ... literally. This St. Joseph, Mo., couple has combed the country in the process of building a remarkable collection of antique butter churns, cream whippers and egg beaters. The Allens are modest about their collection, quick to say it's not the biggest nor the best you'll find. But neither is it chopped liver. 

Fifteen years ago, as she moved an antique cabinet into her home, Dea fixed a sharp eye on the decor.

"I need a butter churn to put on top of that," she recalls saying.

Out-producing your average rabbit, that one antique butter churn has since evolved into 300 churns.

"We got that one, and then we found out there were other sizes," Dea says.

"There were not a lot of people collecting Dazeys then, and that's what we concentrated on at first. We started out to get a representation of the Dazey line, and when we got pretty well through that, we started looking around. We found there were a lot of neat churns."