Dazey Glass Jar Butter Churns
Dazey butter churns are among the most popular churns with collectors today. The Dazey Churn & Manufacturing Company was one of the most prolific makers of butter churns and almost all of their churns are easily identified by the Dazey name embossed on the glass jars. In the early 1920's Dazey claimed their factory was able to produce 2,000 butter churns a day. In 1915 Dazey claimed it had 250,000 butter churns in use, by 1923 they boasted of two million satisfied users and by 1936 the number increased to three million. That is a lot of churns and the company made churns for another two decades after that.
The downside of this is that Dazey butter churns are being reproduced currently. We just ran an ebay search for Dazey churn and over half of the auctions were for reproduction butter churns. Buyers must be very careful to make sure that they distinguish between antique churns and modern reproductions. Dazey never made a butter churn smaller than one quart. Pint, half-pint, No. 5, child's churns and salesman's samples are all reproductions. Salesman's samples were used for items that were large, that a traveling salesman could not carry with him. In the case of a churn, a salesman could easily carry the churn with him, there would be no need for a small size sample. In fact if you look at a one quart churn it would seem like it was much smaller than would be practical. The reason for small churns was that much of the butter made in homes was sweet or unsalted butter. Sweet butter was very perishable, especially before the days of modern refrigeration. It often started to get an off taste within a day or two. To avoid this butter was churned in small quantities that could be used in a day or two.
So Dazey churns smaller than one quart are easy to identify as reproductions. However Dazey churns from one to eight quart are also being reproduced and Dazey did make butter churns in these sizes. On some of the larger sizes that Dazey did make, the Made in America or St. Louis, U.S.A. line may be missing or blurred. On reproductions of patent dated churns the abbreviation FEB. may be misspelled on the jar. The only original churn frame that was marked Dazey was the patent dated style. Dazey never made the bullseye style of frame that was embossed with the name Dazey. Another difference is in the wood handles. Often on reproduction churns they are shorter than the originals and held on to the crank arm with a threaded bolt rather than a peened rivet. The wood paddles are often not made of maple but rather a wood with a much more distinct grain. The metal tops on the reproductions will be distressed or acid washed to look old but this will look different than an old metal top that has been aged for years. Most old churns will have some wear on the bottom corners of the glass jar. It is possible that an old churn might never have been used but this would not be seen very often. If you are not sure ask questions. It is terrible to tell someone they paid hundreds of dollars for a reproduction butter churn that they thought was old.
One will also come across many butter churns that have Dazey jars but the tops will be other brands such as Sears or Wards. These churns were not sold this way originally but they probably were often used to churn butter. The reason lies in the marketing strategies used by these companies. Dazey sold its butter churns through hardware stores while Sears and Wards sold directly to the customer through the mail. With the Dazey approach customers could walk in to their local hardware store and buy a churn that day. With the mail order companies one would have to wait for the churn to arrive but the price was less than the Dazey. Often when a person was buying a new churn they were willing to wait to receive it in order to save money. However when the jar broke it was a different story. They needed the churn and could not wait for a replacement jar to arrive in the mail. Then it was much quicker to go down to the local hardware store and buy a replacement Dazey jar. Since most of the churn companies used a common thread on the jars, the lids would interchange. This is one reason why there are so many butter churns where the top and jar did not originally come together.
These are Dazey beveled edge or horseshoe label butter churns. The four corners of the glass jar are cut off or beveled rather than coming to a point. The glass is embossed in a horseshoe pattern DAZEY CHURN AND MFG. COMPANY in an arch and ST. LOUIS, MO. along the base of the arch. The base of the jar is embossed with a 10, 20, 30 or 40 depending if it is what is commonly referred to as a 1, 2, 3 or 4 quart butter churn. However Dazey literature of the period listed the No. 10 as 3 pints, the 20 as 5 pints, the 30 as 7.5 pints and the 40 as 9 pints. The lip of the glass jar, above the threads, will have a ground edge. The metal tops will not be marked Dazey, the gear will have round holes rather than the later pie shaped holes and the frame will attach to the lid with an arch attachment rather than the three feet on the later butter churns. The screw lid will be indented above the upper most thread unlike the later lids. In addition the tops of the dasher blades will be rounded rather than square. The butter churns pictured above from left to right are a one, two, three and four quart. In this series of Dazey butter churns the 3 and 4 quart are less common.
These were the first glass jar butter churns made by Dazey Churn and Manufacturing Company after the company was established in 1906. They probably were produced from 1906 to about 1912. Dazey literature listed the dealer prices as $1.25, $1.75, $2.25 and $2.75 for the No. 10, 20, 30 and 40 sizes respectively.
We have noticed an interesting variant of this churn. The most common churn of this style had the gear frame going across the end of the C shaped arch or horseshoe that attached to the screw on lid. The butter churn on the left of the picture would be how most of these churns were designed. However we have seen a few churns were the gear frame splits the center of the arch like the butter churn on the right of the picture. This style was actually drawn in some of the early Dazey ads for these churns. We feel that this design may have been the first style that Dazey produced. It would seem that the second design on the left would have been more stable but be do not know for sure why the design would have been changed.
Also, normally on Dazey churns the thread size on the 3 and 4 quart churns was the same. The capacity of the jars was different but the thread size was the same. This means that except for the length of the dasher shaft 3 and 4 quart tops are the same. That is why a 3 quart top can be put on a 4 quart jar. However in this variant of the beveled edge churn there exists a 4 quart jar that uses a larger thread and jar opening than the normal 3 or 4 quart. Again we are unsure why Dazey would have made the change. It seems logical that as the jars got bigger, the size of the jar opening and the thread would get bigger. Possibly Dazey standardized the thread on the 3 and 4 quart jars in order to save on parts inventory. Using the same thread size on the 3 and 4 quart jars meant that only one metal lid and one gear frame needed to be stocked for the 3 and 4 quart churns. Again the actual reason for the change remains a mystery.
These are Dazey bullseye or round label butter churns. From left to right is a one, two, three and four quart size. The embossing on the front of the jar is in a round circle reading: DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO. at the top of the circle and ST. LOUIS, U.S.A. in a banner along the bottom of the circle. On the one quart butter churn it will be embossed 1-Qt. above the circular embossing. On the larger sizes there will be a 20, 30 or 40 embossed above the circle depending if the butter churn is 2, 3 or 4 quart in size. Some of these jars will have MADE IN AMERICA embossed in a line below the circle embossing.
The tops again are not marked Dazey and there is no screen. Pie shaped holes will now start to be common on the large gear, although on some of the early churns Dazey used up their old inventory of gears with the round holes. Also the frame will attach to the lid with three feet rather than the previous arched or horseshoe attachment. The tops of the wood dasher blades are now square rather than rounded. Dazey probably produced these butter churns from about 1912 till around the end of the decade. Originally these butter churns also had a paper label on the glass jar. The version without the MADE IN AMERICA line is usually found with a rectangular, paper label incorporating the D logo on the back side of the jar, opposite the embossing. This is the first logo pictured at the top of the page. On the paper label above the round logo it also said SAVES LABOR and below it BETTER BUTTER. The version of this butter churn with the MADE IN AMERICA line is usually found with the IT"S A DAZEY label in the center of the circular embossing on the glass. This is the second logo pictured at the top of the page. Based on these labels one can assume that the bullseye butter churns with the MADE IN AMERICA line would date later than the bullseye churns that do not have this line.
A hardware catalog from Dunham, Carrigan & Hayden Company, a San Francisco, California hardware wholesaler, listed the wholesale prices of these butter churns at $1.67, $2.33, $2.83 and $3.75 for the 1, 2, 3 and 4 quart sizes. That catalog dated at the very end of the run of these butter churns. It advertised that these butter churns could make butter in one to five minutes and that the butter could be washed right in the churn doing away with the time and labor of working the butter.
This is a Dazey butter churn that is not common. Collectors often refer to it as a transitional churn. It is not clear exactly where it fits in the line of Dazey butter churns. We are taking a guess and placing it here. We have only seen it in the four quart or No. 40 size. The front of the jar is embossed:
“an embossed circle”
DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO.
ST. LOUIS MO. U.S.A.
MADE IN AMERICA
The glass jar is very crude. It has a lot of bubbles, straw marks and the seams are rough. The embossing is not as distinct as on the bullseye butter churns. The bottom of the jar has a suction scar characteristic of an Owens Automatic Bottle Machine. The Owens Automatic Bottle Machine used suction to pull the molten glass up into the mold. The scar, which is an irregular circle incised on the bottom of the jar, was caused when the knife cut off the blob of molten glass. The suction scar on this jar is very crude which is more typical of bottles made on the Owens machines prior to 1920. The bottom of the jar is also embossed with an I in a diamond, which was the mark of Illinois Glass Company of Alton, Illinois. This mark was in use from about 1915 to 1929. It is not clear what top originally came on this churn. The beveled churn top shown in the picture fits best but they have been found with the bullseye top also. The MADE IN AMERICA embossing on this churn is also found on some of the bullseye churns and would fit with the WWI patriotic sentiment in the last half of the 1910 decade. Since there is no indication that this churn had a screen in the lid it would presumably predate the following churns that utilize whey screens starting in the very early 1920’s.
Thanks Dennis for your ideas on this butter churn.
These are Dazey raised screen butter churns. These were the first time Dazey used a whey screen. They probably were produced just prior to 1922 since some of them incorporate the patent dated style of gear frame. Pictured above from left to right are a two, three and four quart churn with the unmarked top and then a four and three quart churn with the Dazey marked top. These are the only sizes that these butter churns were made in. Note that the three and four quart churns on the far right use a Dazey marked top typical of the 1922 patent dated churns while the three and four quart churns to the left use an unmarked top typical of the previous bullseye embossed model. The three and four quart butter churns are found both ways with the raised screen. The two quart size has only been found with the unmarked top although Dazey advertisements pictured a two quart raised screen churn with the marked top found on the later patent dated churns. Two of these tops are stamped PATENT PENDING. We also have seen an advertisement in a 1920 Thomson Diggs hardware catalog from Sacramento, California that mentions a patent is pending. Could this be a reference to the 1922 patent or was there a separate patent for this raised screen that was abandoned in favor of the 1922 patented screen? At this point we don't know.
We are unsure if Dazey was the first company to put a screen in the lid of a glass jar butter churn. Standard Churn Company started to advertise screens in the lids of their churns around the same time. In 1922 Sears, Roebuck and Company was advertising glass jar butter churns with a screen in the lid. What was unique about the Dazey screen was that it was removable. This was important because it allowed clean rinse water to be poured into the churn. All screens allowed one to pour the buttermilk out of the churn and keep the butter granules inside. The next step in butter making however, was to pour clean fresh water into the churn a few times to rinse more buttermilk out of the butter. In churns with fixed screens this was impossible. The screen kept the water from going into the churn so the top had to be unscrewed to pour the water in. With the removable screen on the Dazey churn one could just remove the screen and pour the water in the hole and never have to unscrew the lid of the churn until they were ready to remove the butter.
The glass jars for these butter churns were also embossed in a circle. The top half of the circle was embossed DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO. and the bottom half of the circle was embossed No 40 - MADE IN ST. LOUIS - U.S.A. Above the circular embossing it was embossed 4 QT (this example would be for a 4 quart butter churn). The embossing on these jars was very fine compared to the previous bullseye embossed butter churns. These glass jars would originally have had the IT'S A DAZEY paper label (see top of page) in the center of this circular embossing. These glass jars also had bottom embossing. The four quart often has 562, the three quart has 561 and the two quart has 560. There also may be other letters (commonly a K) or numbers. These possibly could have been mold codes. The two and three quart butter churns will often have a K-G in an oval. This is most likely the maker's mark for Kearns, Gorsuch Bottle Company of Zanesville, Ohio. This company was in business until 1937 but interestingly they were purchased by Hazel-Atlas in 1920, just about the time this butter churn was produced. Hazel-Atlas will later make the glass jars for the Price Churn sold by Dazey.
The glass jars on Lightning Butter Machines made by Stewart-Skinner Company also use a similar system of bottom embossing on their jars, utilizing the 560, 561 or 562 mold marks. They however, do not have the K-G oval. The jars are similar in size, shape and the embossing of the quart size. The Lightning Butter Machines just lack the circular embossing of the Dazey butter churns. There is a possibility that Dazey Churn and Manufacturing Company and Stewart-Skinner Company both contracted with Kearns, Gorsuch Bottle Company to produce their glass jars and the same mold styles were used.
Click here to go to the page with Lightning Butter Machines made by the Stewart-Skinner Company.
This is a butter churn that pops up every now and then. Basically it is identical to a two quart raised screen churn except that it has the patented screen. The glass jar and frame are the same as the raised screen would be. This butter churn has the remnants of an IT'S A DAZEY label in the center of the embossing on the glass jar. It differs from the patent dated two quart in that the jar is different and the patent dated churn would use the marked frame. This could have been just a case of Dazey Manufacturing Company using up old inventory. What we find interesting however is that this is the churn that is pictured in the patent application. The February 14, 1922 patent was actually filed a year earlier on February 2, 1921 and presumably drawn before that. It pictures a square shoulder jar with an unmarked top just like this. Could these have been early versions prior to the patent being granted?
Click here to view the drawings page of the 1922 Dazey patent. Note the similarities to this butter churn.
These are Dazey patent dated butter churns. The patent granted to Nathan P. Dazey on February 14, 1922 dealt with the screen in the lid of the churn. He was also granted a Canadian patent for this butter churn on May 2, 1922. Pictured above are the two, three, four, six and eight quart sizes. These butter churns were also produced in a one quart size. The one and three quart sizes were not produced for many years however and are the least common of the patent dated butter churns. Based on hardware catalog listings from various companies it appears that these churns were offered in 2, 3 and 4 quart sizes when they first came out. After a while the 3 quart was dropped and the 6 quart was added. A year later the 8 quart size was added to the line. We have seen the 3 quart listed as late as 1925 and the 6 quart as early as 1927 and the 8 quart followed a year later in 1928. Based on these catalogs it appears the 3 quart size was only offered for about three years. We have only seen one hardware catalog that listed a one quart butter churn of this style and it was from Canada. One quart Dazey churns in this style are very rare. During World War II Dazey Churn & Manufacturing Company confined their production to only the 4 and 8 quart size churns due to a shortage of materials. The jars for this style of Dazey churn have lower, sloped upper corners and are embossed:
DAZEY CHURN (in an arch)
NO. 60 (for a 6 qt)
PATENTED FEB. 14, 22
DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO.
ST. LOUIS, MO.
MADE IN U.S.A.
However some jars in the two, six and eight quart size will have an additional line between the DAZEY CHURN and the patent date saying 6 QUART (for a six quart churn). Also in all but the eight quart size, some jars will have a flower with the words Dazey in the center embossed on the base of the jar (click here for a picture of a jar base with a flower). And then some of these flower embossed jars will have DAZEY CHURN and NO. 40 (for a 4 quart size) embossed on the backside of the jar. There can be quite a few combinations to collect. These glass jars would have come with The Improved DAZEY CHURN paper label (last label at the top of the page) on the back side of the glass jar opposite of the side with the embossing. The tops on these jars will be marked Dazey at the top and have a flower near the gear on all but the one quart butter churn. These tops will also have the removable whey screen on all but the one quart butter churn. The one quart jar will have the flower embossed on the bottom, embossing on both sides of the jar and will be missing the patent date. Since the February 14, 1922 patent related to the screen and the one quart did not have this screen the patent did not really apply to the one quart size butter churn. This one quart size Dazey churn is one of the most valuable churns to collectors today. Previous Dazey butter churns used four wood blades on the paddle but in 1936, during the run of these patent dated churns, Dazey started to use a paddle with two wood blades. Thus these butter churns in the 2, 4, 6 and 8 quart sizes can be found with either a two or four wooden blade paddle. The one and three quart sizes will always have 4 blades on the paddle since they were discontinued prior to 1936. Interestingly Nathan Dazey was granted two patents in 1921, just prior to the patent for this churn, for a three bladed butter churn paddle. However we have never seen these paddles in production.
Typical prices for these churns in the 1920's would have been $2.30 for the 2 quart, $2.67 for the 3 quart, $3.75 for the 4 quart, $4.50 for the 6 quart and $5.25 for the 8 quart. However there was a some variation depending what hardware company was selling them and of course the price rose in the 1930's and early 1940's. The one ad we have seen for the one quart size listed the price as $25.40 per dozen or $2.12 each. Wouldn't you like to have a dozen?
Click here to see a comparison of Dazey raised and patented screens with a round Elgin, Sears or Wards screen.
There also was a Dazey butter churn that was made and sold in Great Britian. Pictured above is a two quart capacity but we have also seen them in three, four and six quart sizes. On the British Dazey churn the glass jar will be embossed:
DAZEY CHURN (in an arch)
NO. 20 (for a 2 qt)
ALL BRITISH (in a reverse arch)
WAM LTD LON
Often the tops will have will have a series of holes punched directly in the lid in the shape of a triangle to form a screen. At the base of the triangle a tin lip will be soldered to the lid to form a pouring spout. The tops on these butter churns will usually be marked Dazey, similar to the patent dated churns, but there will be small differences in the mechanism. The lid on this churn has less thread and the shaft from the large gear to the handle is much longer. The size of the jar and the threads are the same as the U.S. Dazey patent dated churn. Often British churns, such as Blow butter churns, will have the capacity of the jars in Imperial quarts which are 20 percent larger than U.S. quarts but that did not appear to be the case with British Dazey butter churns. These butter churns came with the Improved Dazey Churn paper label on the side of the glass jar opposite the embossing, however the British label said British Made at the top as opposed to Made in U.S.A. found on the U.S. label.
Click here to see the triangular screen on an All British Dazey Churn.
It appears that in the mid-1930's Dazey was facing stiff competition from lower priced butter churns sold by competitors like Sears and Wards. In response Dazey came out with a low priced churn called The Price Churn. The churn mechanism was similar to the old bullseye style butter churns although the markings were different. The lid to the jar was much less substantial and had no screen. The wood dasher was the four blade style even though the patent dated churns went to a 2 blade dasher during this time period. The glass jar itself was a high cornered jar made by Hazel-Atlas with no embossing of the quart size or Dazey on the sides. The glass jar was embossed on the bottom with the HA logo of Hazel-Atlas and a mold mark of K4249 preceded by various numbers. This butter churn had a paper label identifying that it was made by the Dazey Churn & Mfg. Company but after the label washed off there would be no way to identify the churn as made by Dazey.
In a 1936 hardware catalog this butter churn was listed along with the Dazey patent dated churns. It was only sold in a 4 quart size and its wholesale price was $2.80 compared with $3.97 for the patent dated butter churn. Another hardware catalog from 1938 listed the Price Churn at $2.37 and the 4 quart patent dated churn at $3.43. The Price Churn was offered as late as 1943 when the prices were $2.25 and $3.40. Although the prices were cheaper in these later catalogs the difference between the two churns was still a little over a dollar. Interestingly earlier Dazey butter churn instructions came with the statement:
Notice! The Genuine "DAZEY CHURN" has our name DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO., St. Louis, Mo., in full, blown in side of jar. Refuse Substitutes and order direct from us if your dealer will not supply you.
Obviously the butter churn market had changed and business practices needed to also.
A glass jar very similar to the glass jar used on this butter churn was also used on the Dandy butter churn made by the Taylor Brothers Churn & Manufacturing Company. Click here to go to the page with Dandy butter churns.
During World War II the Dazey Churn and Manufacturing Company had difficulties obtaining raw materials for its churns. Advertisements said they the factory was concentrating on the four and eight quart sizes with the materials the had. Part of the Dazey factory was retooled to manufacture ammunition during the war. In October of 1944 they advertised that replacement jars were once again available but complete churns were still in limited supply. At this same time the company name was changed to the Dazey Corporation. Also at this point in time Dazey made a major redesign of their churns. The butter churns pictured above were the new design. The square jars and exposed gears would become a thing of the past. Dazey advertised these as The New Streamlined Dazey Churn.
These two butter churns are an 8 quart and a 4 quart Dazey red top or football style butter churn, as collectors refer to them. These were the last style of Dazey manual butter churns and only came in these two sizes. The Dazey directions that came with these churns listed a two and six quart replacement jar however these would have been the older, square glass jars. The new clover leaf or tulip shaped glass jar was claimed to prevent unchurned cream from being caught in the corners in addition to being easier to clean. We believe that these glass jars were made by the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation. On the steel lids they were sometimes referred to as a Model B. The sizes were now referred to as a No. 4 for the four quart rather than the old size 40 and No. 8 for the eight quart rather than the old size 80. These were the only manual Dazey butter churns to have the gears enclosed. These churns both have removable whey screens identical to the Dazey patent dated butter churns. This type of screen is seen in the foreground of the above picture. There are also later versions of these butter churns that have non removable screens punched into the lid (picture). The dasher blades on these churns were larger than the previous models which Dazey claimed was more efficient. The bottoms of the jars were embossed:
PAT. APP. FOR
NO. 4 (FOR 4 QT)
ST. LOUIS, MO. U.S.A.
The company was still based in St. Louis, Missouri but the jars are advertised as being shipped from their Ohio plant. We have only seen the glass jars embossed PAT. APP. FOR however Jack P. Dazey was granted a design patent on July 6, 1948 for these butter churns. The design patent covered only the ornamental design for the churn. He applied for the patent in August of 1946 so presumably these churns would date from about then. Interestingly the Standard Churn Company was assigned a patent for their tulip shaped jars in 1946, before Dazey. These Dazey butter churns were listed in the 1949 and 1956 catalog of Baker-Hamilton, a San Francisco, California hardware wholesaler. The wholesale price in 1949 was $4.95 for a four quart and $6.25 for an eight quart butter churn. By 1956 the price had almost doubled to $9.50 and $11.50. As electricity reached rural areas of the United States the demand for manual crank butter churns declined.
By 1950 Dazey Corporation had purchased the Standard Churn Company of Wapakoneta, Ohio, operating it as a wholly owned subsidiary. However at some point Dazey red top churns start appearing with Standard Churn Company style jars. The only difference is the SCC embossing on the base has been replaced with 4MO on the four quart jars and 8MO on the eight quart jars. The churns also have the metal paddles seen on later Standard Churn Company churns instead of the wood paddles Dazey had been using. It is interesting that Dazey would abandon their tulip jar in favor of their former competitors. One explanation might be that some reviews claimed that the Standard Churn Company jar was more stable since it was biggest at the base where as the Dazey jar got smaller at the base.
In 1954 Landers, Frary and Clark acquired ownership of the Dazey Corporation and continued to market the Dazey butter churns. At some point they added the Universal brand name that they used on their churns and the location was changed to New Britain, Connecticut where they were based. Thus one will find a small number of these red top butter churns that will have DAZEY CHURN MODEL NO. 4 SERVICE NO. 5510 UNIVERSAL NEW BRITAIN, CONN. U.S.A. stamped on the lid. These will be butter churns with the metal paddles, the non removable screen and the reworked Standard Churn Company jar.
In 1964 Landers, Frary and Clark sold the Dazey Corporation to Talge Holdings. Henry Talge had founded the Rival Company in 1932 and sold it in 1963. The Dazey headquarters was moved to Kansas City, Missouri but by this time butter churns were no longer one of their products. The era of home made butter had passed. In late 1996 Talge sold a part of the Dazey Corporation to the Rival Company, the same company the family founded in 1932.
Click here to go to the page with Landers, Frary and Clark Universal butter churns.
Click here to go to the page with Standard Churn Company's butter churns with tulip shaped glass jars.
Dazey metal butter churns are on the Dazey Metal Churn Page. Click here to go to that page.