[Ads-l] bakery bread

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 1 12:37:48 EDT 2017

It's hard to say what any particular advertiser thought - or how it went over with the public - at any particular time, but I did a spot-check browse through a few decades of "dairy butter"/"creamery butter" articles and saw some interesting things.

Creamery operations seem to have become a big thing in the 1870s.  Initially, they were still, more or less, local.  They collected cream, and not milk, from large local area, turning that cream into butter.  Since cream made up about 10 percent of the volume of milk, transportation costs were lower.

One difference between "creamery butter" and "dairy butter" was that creameries made "sweet" butter from fresh cream, whereas dairies that made butter from cream would generally make it from sour cream, which gave it a nuttier taste that some people liked.  But dairymen could also make "milk butter" which was of a lower quality.

One problem with "dairy butter" was that the quality was erratic, given that there were so many sources.  An 1880 article suggested that perhaps half of all "dairy butter" was unfit for human consumption.  A large creamery operation would make more butter of a consistent level of quality.

In 1900, there was a debate in Canada about whether to restrict the term "creamery butter" to creameries only - or whether to allow smaller producers, who had mastered the techniques of the larger producers to use the term.  One proposal was for all "dairies" of nine or fewer cows to be restricted to using "dairy butter," whereas larger dairy operations could call it "creamery butter."  Not sure whether that proposal passed - but it was seen as unfair to small operations with well-trained operators, and too generous to larger farms that might not have the same quality control.

And the distinction mattered.  By one report, in the early 1900s, "dairy butter" could be sold for about 12 cent a pound, whereas "creamery butter" went for 25 cents.  There were also reports that farmers could get a better price for their "dairy butter" if they sold it to a creamery.  But the creamery might just turn around and sell it as "creamery butter" after doctoring it up a bit, so some creameries were unscrupulous.

And all of this was happening against the backdrop of the invention and increasing popularity of oleomargarine made from lard, which was a whole 'nuther thing.

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2017 6:56:01 AM
Subject: Re: bakery bread

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: bakery bread

I assume that an impersonal "big operation" would have been thought a
better source of butter than a local dairy farmer because that "big
operation" would have invested in better equipment for processing and

Dairies weren't good at making butter; they produced milk. Creameries took
that milk and made butter.


On Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 9:41 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Why assume that an impersonal "big operation" would have been thought a
> better source of butter, milk, and cream than a local dairy farmer who was
> known to the community - in an America that was still "small-town" and
> largely agricultural?
> With little or no government oversight before the era of T. Roosevelt,
> big-time, impersonal operators would have been more likely to adulterate
> their product than would the honest farm family down the road.
> JL
> On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:58 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 7:08 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > meaning that the butter is made in a creamery
> > >
> >
> > Yes. When I was a young'un in East Texas, we got our pasteurized - but
> not
> > homogenized - milk from the East Texas Creamery. My grandmother didn't
> > believe in "homo-jeen-ized" milk. Since this was During The War, we had
> > oleo-maah-juh-reen, a.k.a. "butterette," and not creamery butter. Some
> > foods were Scarce On The Homefront During The  War. Even Lucky Strike
> Green
> > Went To War.
> >
> >
> > --
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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