Delightful Dairy Items

Collector revives milking machines, milk scales and other dairy items

| July 1999

  • At front, a DeLaval milker, completely restored to a gleaming finish. At back, left to right: A Calf Way, BLK, and another DeLaval.
    At front, a DeLaval milker, completely restored to a gleaming finish. At back, left to right: A Calf Way, BLK, and another DeLaval.
  • Joe Pedro, flanked by an Eveready milker on the left and a 1929 Chore Boy Model #2
    Joe Pedro, flanked by an Eveready milker on the left and a 1929 Chore Boy Model #2. Actively collecting for the past 12 years, Joe's a good source of advice for the novice dairy collector. "Don't turn nothing down," he said. And if a piece is less than complete when purchased, "You're going to have to look hard to find parts."
  • The Surge Pine Tree milking machine
    Made in Chicago: The Surge Pine Tree milking machine
  • 1923 Model T decked out for DeLaval, and a selection of milking machines, all from the collection of George Mendoza, Lindsay, Calif.
    Although dairy items are not easy to come by in California, the state boasts a heap of collectors. Shown here: 1923 Model T decked out for DeLaval, and a selection of milking machines, all from the collection of George Mendoza, Lindsay, Calif.

  • At front, a DeLaval milker, completely restored to a gleaming finish. At back, left to right: A Calf Way, BLK, and another DeLaval.
  • Joe Pedro, flanked by an Eveready milker on the left and a 1929 Chore Boy Model #2
  • The Surge Pine Tree milking machine
  • 1923 Model T decked out for DeLaval, and a selection of milking machines, all from the collection of George Mendoza, Lindsay, Calif.

Those in the dairy industry will tell you that June is Dairy Month. But for dairy items collector Joe Pedro, every month is Dairy Month. 

Joe, who operates a dairy at Visalia, Calif., has built an extensive collection of everything from milking machines to homogenizers, milk scales to cheese cutters. Housed in a two-story building at his home, the collection takes all comers.

"I don't turn anybody down when they bring me stuff," he said, "or they won't bring it anymore."

Joe's collection is the natural result of a life spent in the dairy industry.



"My first milking machine was a DeLaval," he said. "My dad bought a dairy in '46, and that's what we had. I've been accumulating this stuff since then, but I never had any time to put it together or do anything with it until about 12 years ago."

And time, of course, is what a collection of this caliber consumes in vast gulps. When it comes to restoring the vintage milking machines, for instance, Joe is a master craftsman.



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