Story: Dairying and dairy products

Hand-churning butter (1st of 1)

Hand-churning butter

Butter making was a regular job in the early days of dairy farming, and well into the 20th century. Here, land girl Carol Sladden operates a wooden hand churn at Mangaorapa, Hawke’s Bay, in 1943. The churn agitated the cream inside until it separated into butter and buttermilk, which could take half an hour or more of churning. When the lumps of butter were removed from the churn, they were compressed to remove excess moisture, and moulded into convenient sized pats on a board, using the two grooved butter paddles.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, John Dobrée Pascoe Collection (PAColl-0783)
Reference: 1/4-000722; F
Photograph by John Dobrée Pascoe

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hugh Stringleman and Frank Scrimgeour, 'Dairying and dairy products - Beginnings of New Zealand’s dairy industry', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 October 2023)

Story by Hugh Stringleman and Frank Scrimgeour, published 24 Nov 2008