Once again, I have the privilege to share with you a story from a guest blogger...my father-in-law Lloyd!
He writes about what it was like to milk cows in the 1950's...in particular how the milk was stored and transported to the dairy. Enjoy!
DAIRY FARMING IN THE 1950's
My father remodeled our barn in the early 50's, taking out the old wooden stalls and replacing them with metal stalls and all new concrete. We had four short rows, with nine stalls in each row. (which we still have today)
Milking was done with Surge milkers...
These milkers had vacuum pulsators. We could run three milkers. When the electricity would go off, we would run the milkers with the tractor. (just like now, when the power goes off, we run our generator with a tractor) This sure beat milking by hand! My Mother was far better at hand milking than I was!
From the Surge milker, the milk was dumped into a bucket. We then dumped the milk through a strainer, which sat on top of a milk can...
When finished, we would roll the cans to the milk house. We cooled the milk by hoisting the cans into a cooler tank that was filled with water at 38 degrees. Sometimes Dad would drop a couple of watermelons in too...a good summertime treat! Those cans full of milk were heavy, so Dad rigged up a system where we could maneuver them into the tank ourselves, if he wasn't around to lift them for us.
After the morning milking was finished, we would load all the cans into our pickup truck and head for Lancaster city, where the Penn Dairy receiving plant was located.
Dad would back the truck up to a conveyor. The cans all had our farm identification number painted on them. As the cans went up the conveyor, there was a gentleman who would knock the lid off each can and smell the milk. It the milk didn't smell right, he would reject it and send it back to us. It was then fed to the calves, cats or chickens, or thrown away. This didn't happen often!
After the milk was approved, it was dumped into a big tank, our milk cans were washed and loaded back up onto our truck, and home we went. I always enjoyed this trip to the dairy.
Some years later, we put in a bulk tank on our farm. This was quite a change! We then put in a dumping station. This is where the milk was dumped from each milker into a holding tank in the cow stable, and then pumped from there into the bulk tank by a glass line. Our first tank was a 400 gallon Mojonnier Brothers bulk tank. The milk truck came every day to the farm to pick up the milk.
Eventually we put in a pipeline milking system, and the milk now goes directly from the cow to the milk tank without us having to lift the weight of the milk. Who knows what changes are next?
I've included a few pictures of the bulk tank. The first picture is of the original 400 gallon Mojonnier tank that Lloyd wrote about...
In 1995, Jim and I decided to put in a larger tank, to save on hauling charges. We are charged each time the milk truck picks up our milk, and by putting in this 900 gallon Mueller tank, we were able to have the milk truck come every other day, cutting our hauling charges in half. The "new" tank soon paid for itself.
We bulk headed the tank, which means that rather than building a larger milk house, part of the tank remains outside, with the wall built around it. The tank is well insulated, and the milk inside remains at a safe temperature, regardless of the weather. The old tank was removed and the new one put in place between morning and evening milkings...
I hope you enjoyed the farm memories. I love it when someone else does the writing for me!