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This is a photograph of a dasher butter [plunge] churn, which was common in the 19th century. the hand-operated wooden plunger (or dash) stirs the cream until it clumps together. The excess liquid is then drained. During the Civil War, butter and cheese were made at home. With the improvements in transportation, milk no longer had to be processed into cheese or butter before it was sold. Many farmers still made butter and cheese at home, however, and sold it to markets during the war. Sources: Fletcher, Whitcomb W. Pennsylvania Agriculture and Country Life 1840-1940. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1955. Print. Gates, Paul W. The Impact of the Civil War: Agriculture and the Civil War. Ed. Nevins, Allan. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, 1965. Print. "churn". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 19 Jun. 2012.


Vince's Agriculture Project Vol. I


Churns, 19th century, Pictorial works. Agricultural implements, United States, History, 19th century, Pictorial works.


The digitized images of letters, photographs, and other items from the Agriculture Collection in the "Indiana, Pennsylvania in the Civil War" exhibit are the property of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, Pa. These images may only be used for non-commercial, educational purposes under "Fair Use" guidelines. For additional information contact: HGSIC, 621 Wayne Avenue, Indiana, Pa. 15701; (724) 463-9600. Email


The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, PA; Agriculture Project

Dasher Butter Churn