photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
Milk does not stay fresh for long, so before the days of good roads and modern transport in 20,000 litre-refrigerated road tankers, milk was made into, and sold as, butter. After milking, farmers carried it in cans by horse or horse-drawn cart to a creamery which had to be located only a few kilometres from the farm, lest the milk go off. Groups of farmers set up co-operative creameries which separated the cream from the milk in mechanical separators. These flourished in the 1920s. The cream was sent from the creamery on to a butter factory and the skim milk returned to the farmer who used it to feed his pigs and calves (sold for their meat as veal). In the North Coast dairying areas of New South Wales, rivers played an important part in transporting milk to cream and butter factories before the advent of improved roads and milk tankers.
Photography by Charles Kerry and Co.
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Post by Margaret Simpson, Curator