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.
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,
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