Chapter: Innovation

Wooden Churn

"DIY creamery"
Wooden churn used at home to process cream into butter and buttermilk wooden churn


Farmers used wooden churns like this to process their own cream into butter and buttermilk at home. Large churns, similar to this, could make large quantities of butter and buttermilk. The cream was poured in the top and paddles on the inside, turned by a handle on the outside, churned the cream until it separated into butter and buttermilk afterwhich the handle would be removed. The butter would be mixed with cold water to remove the last of the buttermilk and salt would be added. The butter would then be shaped and stored for later use. The buttermilk was used in baking or as a refreshing drink.

This artifact was used at home for the farmer's own consumption. The creamery had larger versions so farmers could sell their cream to earn additional income.