One modest machine, the cream separator, made a huge impact on the life of the rural dweller. C. G. de Laval of Sweden introduced his centrifugal cream separator in 1879. Early machines were large and intended for commercial use. Smaller, hand-cranked separators probably became available in Nebraska in the 1890s, as indicated by ads in Nebraska Farmer. The hand cream separator was called "the mortgage lifter" because it enabled farm wives to make more money with less effort by selling their cream rather than churning it into butter themselves. Creameries mass-produced butter, and by 1928 Nebraska was the fourth largest butter-maker in the country.
Cottage Cheese, Hillside Dairy, Uehling; Milk , Liebers Dairy, Lincoln; Goodrich, Egg Nog; Beatrice Creamery Co. trade card; Prairie Gold Butter, Atkinson. Pamphlet, Fairmont Butter.
Starting as a small butter producer in 1884, the Fairmont Creamery Company grew to become one of the nation's largest food processors, Fairmont Foods. By 1959, with its headquarters in Omaha, the little company that had started in Fairmont was among the country's top five hundred corporations. The company moved to Houston in 1974 and in 1980 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of American Financial Corporation.
J. R. Roberts began Roberts Dairy in 1906 on a farm near Lincoln. Today the company has plants in Des Moines and Iowa City, Iowa, Kansas City, Missouri, and Omaha. Wagon and boxes courtesy: Roberts Dairy, Omaha
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