The 12th Annual Dairy Convention was held in Pennsylvania at the Beaver Springs fairground this past summer. Each year I would check our show directory for the location of this convention. I was delighted to find out from Dr. Paul Dettloff, who I've conversed with over the years, the Dairy Convention, Swap Meet and Auction would be held in Pennsylvania for 1998. This time I didn't need to do much talking to convince my husband Ken to attend. He grew up on a farm and milking cows was one of his chores. To be quite honest, I didn't exactly know what to expect.
The first sight, after we pulled into the fairgrounds, was an impressive display by Martha's Milk House owned by Jim and Martha Roberts of Scio, New York. They were eager to identify and explain all the gadgets found on this display on wheels. In the picture below, you will see a giant milk bottle on the left. Jim found and restored this oddity. He thought it was a gadget that was used to return milk bottles and allow you to receive your deposit. After seeing this contraption work, one would question whether any bottles landed in the bottom in one piece. If you know of any gadget like this, Jim is looking for more information about his find. You can contact him at 5026 Middaugh Hill, Scio, NY 14880.
We entered one of the two big buildings that housed displays and dairy items for sale or trade. Needless to say, I was quite excited when I saw the many kinds of cream separators, churns, milkers, advertising and just about anything dealing with dairy collecting. Boy, did I learn a lot that day talking to the many exhibitors. What a spirited group--they made us feel comfortable immediately. So much, that we became members!
I must admit that I fell in love with the cream separators. I'm attracted to their shape and to the whole idea of the cream separating from the milk. I guess if you grew up using these machines, maybe the sight of them wouldn't seem so exciting. Looking at the many shapes and sizes, I was getting that urge. I thought maybe it was because of the atmosphere created by the other separator lovers and I would get over it after I left the grounds.
Well, guess what's in my house! While vacationing in Vermont in September, we stopped to check out some items at a flea market. I couldn't believe what I saw standing in the corner of the building--a DeLaval separator. The dealer had it apart, so I had to figure if everything was there. The other concern was the price--I thought I had a real bargain. This kind of thing is usually not an easy feat for a novice collector! Ken and the dealer went inside to take care of the transaction, and both were surprised to find that I had it all loaded up. I didn't want him to change his mind! I couldn't wait to get back to the cabin after a quick trip into town to visit the local hardware store. I needed to get cleaning supplies to find out the model number on the brass tag. Over all, the separator didn't need much in the way of cleaning. It turned out to be DeLaval Junior #3 tabletop model. I was thinking (this is where Ken knows he's in trouble) that maybe I would look for the base to my prize possession. Hey, maybe at the next convention! I guess it's a good thing that Ken and I don't have a barn! See what can happen after attending a show--the bug bites.
We weren't the only ones enjoying the show. During the two days, more than 200 people signed in from 18 states, Canada, and even the Netherlands.
Mark your calendar with these dates, you won't regret it! The next convention will be held in Bonner Springs, Kansas, at the Agricultural Hall of Fame on June 26 and 27, 1999. For more information write to Linda Cooper, Route 1, Box 49A, Malcolm, Nebraska 68402 or phone her at 402-796-2434.
The Cream Separator and Dairy Newsletter is a publication of the North American Dairy Foundation. The Purpose of NADF is to collect, preserve, restore, display and offer for educational purposes memorabilia of the dairy industry and paraphernalia which has historical significance and reflects the lifestyle of our ancestors. For a free sample of the newsletter, contact North American Dairy Foundation, P. O. Box 32, Arcadia, WI 54612.