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unusual butter churn

Posted by lazypup ( on
Wed, Jul 27, 11 at 23:35

how is this for an unusual butter churn?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: unusual butter churn

Hmm....looks like someone took an old hand cranked butter churn and put it on a rocking chair bottom. With a rocking churn, the rocking action usually went side to side.
I wonder if the person who put that together had something besides butter in perhaps laundry?
Linda C

RE: unusual butter churn

I knew the moment I posted that photo that someone would think its for laundry but such is not the case.

On one of my trips to the Old Sturbridge museum I had opportunity to see the Cooper building one of these butter churns. The barrel holds approximately 3 gallons and the rockers under it are only 14" long.

On my latest trip to the museum last saturday I actually saw a lady at the farm house sitting on a chair in the kitchen, shelling peas in a huge bowl while rocking a churn identical to this one with her toe. How is that for multi-tasking?

RE: unusual butter churn

Very clever!

RE: unusual butter churn

When I churn, I also use a device to ease the work involved. It's called putting the dasher in a g'child's hands. LOL.

I wonder if this is a reproduction or an original from that period? I'd have also thought that the barrel would have been turned the other way to facilitate the movement of the liquid and cut down friction, it would make the work necessary to rock it a bit easier.......but some antique rocker churns are even square so guess that means old timers weren't always engineers, just old timers. ;-)

RE: unusual butter churn

The rocking churns I have seen have the rockers going with the curve of the barrel....and baffles in the barrel to help the milk slosh.
But I have also seen barrel churns with a crank that turn the barrel end over end. Whatever gets the job done!...Even to the 1/2 gallon mason jar full of cream rolled on the table until the butter comes.

RE: unusual butter churn

The churn in the photo is original although the one I saw the lady using was a reproduction made to exactly the same dimensions.

The churn has a simple baffle inside that can be removed for cleaning and the little hole on the end is a bung hole to drain the buttermilk off after the butter is made. In use there would be a wooden plug in that hole.

At the museum they have a notebook from a cooper shop in 1753 that has a detailed description and a crude pencil drawing of how to make this type of churn.

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