Barrel Butter Churn

Barrel Butter Churn. Date: 1890 -1920. Accession #2018.03.02

While most people don’t churn their own butter these days, Americans in the late 19th century certainly did. This barrel butter churn was used to make butter from cream. The barrel would have been filled with cream and rotated about 40 times a minute before its contents finally solidified into butter. After the butter was formed, the churn’s operator could use a butter paddle to mold the product into blocks. These paddles also doubled as a means to discipline unruly children. This object’s ownership history can be traced back to Ellisville Road here in the county. Used by Nellie Sims, the churn was donated to the Louisa County Historical Society by her children, Jean Sims Peterson and Welford M. Sims.

Pictured is a barrel butter churn, dated from 1890-1920.

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