Period Another ' Labor Saving Device ' For We Girls, 1861

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JPK Huson 1863

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butter 1861.jpg
From a New England farmer's newspaper, 1861

You know the ubiquitous butter churn? It's always seemed like yet another exhausting chore. Ever try it? Remember a teacher in elementary school hammering home the lesson by actually bringing one to school. Kids took turns using that thing and after 25 children gave up we still only created a slight amount of cream colored sludge.

butter churn from dixie primer.jpg
Who needed a gym membership? Butter churns may drum up nostalgia but no one remembers sweat equity involved.

WELL. Try this monster! Newspaper ad of course makes it appear simple, a dainty woman smiling as she dumps what looks like a 50 gallon barrel filled with milk over. And over.
butter 1861 2.JPG
"... aid the farmer's wife in the dairy room " Too funny. Aid her to a heart attack.
 

donna

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My Granny churned her own butter. I would watch but never tried. Now I wish I had. She was always so busy early in morning with milking cow, making breakfast for all, doing wash, working in garden and sewing clothes. Before you knew it was time to make lunch. If it was harvest time, sometimes there be 10 to 12 workers to feed, besides family members. She had such energy. She was also a wonderful and generous lady. I still miss her so.
 
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AshleyMel

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My grandmothers also churned butter until the country crock came along. I remember how tickled they were. I see lots of young moms today trying to churn butter for their families but it is quickly discarded in favor of store bought. Margarine is good for somethings but give me real butter on my corn bread and biscuits!
 
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If current day mothers want butter from scratch, I shouldn't think they need to churn it by hand. When my mother had her first Kitchen Aid mixer, she made butter by mistake! Her past mixers had taken much, much longer to whip cream, you see....

I'm always amazed when I see the time recommendations for beating things in old recipes. Modern mixers really can do in minutes what in earlier days took hours.
 
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frankconrad

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We made butter in a Quart jar until Mom got a old butter maker of about 3 gallon that had a hand crank. you could make butter in less time than you could do it in the jar. The real job was to work the buttermilk out or soon would get sour.
It hasn't been many years that elementary teachers here had there students make butter in quart jars.
 

Belle Montgomery

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Nowadays you can pour cream into a food processer and in no time "voila" fresh "churned?" butter! Just add salt. Though not nearly as much as fun as hand churning :giggle: Sad how new inventions make it so easy you miss the old fashioned way and it's tradition. Buying butter in a store is no fun. :wink: Sigh
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I like that cute little get-up the cartoon is wearing.

Yes and look how happy she is to be cranking that monster around! Advertisers don't change. There are also era images of women smilingly using those awful wringer washers, " See how easy! ". No wonder we either died young or lived to be 101. This stuff either wore you out ( along with having 10 kids ) or made you so tough you were cast iron.
 
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AnnaLee

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My maternal grandmother churned butter & washed her clothes on a washboard. She kept butter, milk, and other perishables in a "spring house". She had eight children at home. Could use a gun well and took no guff from those who tried to steal or threaten her, according to my mother. She died in 1968 at age of 78 from a stroke.

The picture shows a woman looking neat with every hair in place. When my grandmother was working she perspired, hair coming out of bun and looked like she ran a marathon race.
I remember wanting to "help" churn butter when I was about three and soon giving up because of feeling tired and bored. While visiting relatives in Ky I remember one of my aunts who had eight children would get up every morning milk the cow, churn a large bowl of butter and then cook a large breakfast of bacon, sausage, gravy, eggs, biscuits etc. I never was a breakfast eater and I felt overwhelmed by all the food. The table was about ten feet long. She also made her four daughters dresses. She had a wringer washer but no dryer. Hung laundry outdoors to dry. This was in the 60's. Tough women!
 
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