Dazey Metal Butter Churns
The first Dazey patents were for metal butter churns. We suspect that the first butter churns the Dazey Churn & Manufacturing Company sold were metal churns however soon after they were advertising glass jar butter churns in addition to the metal butter churns. The metal churns were sold into the 1940's so it is incorrect to say that metal Dazey butter churns are older than the glass jar butter churns. The metal churns were larger machines used more by dairies and commercial operations. There was some overlap in sizes after the 1917 patent dated metal churn was introduced since the 4 quart and 8 quart glass jar churns were sold as well as one gallon and two gallon metal churns. However the 8 quart glass jar churn was a later addition to the glass jar line so for many years the only two gallon churn was the metal version. The 4 quart glass jar churns and the one gallon metal churns were sold in the same years but the glass jar version in this size was much, much more common.
Pictured above are two early, metal Dazey butter churns. These butter churns are embossed with an April 16, 1907 patent date and are 3 gallons capacity. This was the total volume of the tank, the most cream that Dazey recommended to be churned was only 2 gallons. Early Dazey brochures referred to this churn as a No. 2 and then later as a No. 275. The dealer price around 1910 was listed as $3.50, by 1915 the price had jumped to $4.50. We have only seen them in the 3 gallon size. These churns were probably sold until the Dazey metal churns with the 1917 patent date were introduced.
These butter churns had little in common with the 1907 patent that was granted to Nathan P. Dazey of Dallas, Texas. The patent papers showed a churn with two containers, one for water surrounding the container for the cream. In reality these churn had one container for the cream only. The patent described the paddles as having 3 curved, sheet metal blades rather than the four straight, wood blades these churns are found with.
Although these metal Dazey butter churns are usually seen with a blue tin container the first ones actually came with a red cream container like the churn on the left in the picture above. Dazey advertisements as late as 1912 pictured these metal butter churns with red cream containers. This red churn has many characteristics of the early Dazey beveled edge glass churns. The large gear has round holes and the top edges of the dasher paddles are rounded rather than square. The blue churn has characteristics of later glass churns. The holes in the large gear are pie shaped and the tops of the dasher paddles are square (picture).
These churns did not have handles on the tin container, most likely since the container was bolted solidly in the frame. The entire gear assembly and the dashers could be removed from the top of the churn. The top on the red churn was held in by square head set screws while the blue churn used thumb screws. No doubt the thumb screws were an improvement so the user did not need a wrench to disassemble the churn. The wood handles were different styles on the two churns. Both churns had drains in the tin container sealed by a threaded cap. These butter churns were stenciled on the front of the tin container "The DAZEY Churn" along with the size and model number.
This metal butter churn is 6 gallons and is embossed DAZEY CHURN and also embossed with the April 16, 1907 patent date on the frame. Again the 6 gallon rating that Dazey used was the total volume of the tin cream container. The most cream one could churn was 4 gallons. One can see that this churn was a transition from the first butter churn on the page to the final version patented in 1917 shown below. This churn and the one pictured previously were marketed concurrently and were sold until the models with the 1917 patent date came out. The large wheel with the wood handle gave the user a lot more power and made it easier to crank the churn. The large drive wheel could also be ordered with a belt groove so that the churn could be driven by a belt. Early Dazey literature referred to this churn as a No. 1 and then later catalogs called it a No. 600. At that time the catalogs also mentioned a No. 400 size that was four gallons capacity although we have only seen this style churn in a six gallon size. The price of the No. 1 model around 1910 was $6.00 and by 1915 had risen to $7.50. It was also available in an electric version.
The 1907 patent, granted to Nathan P. Dazey, did picture a churn with this style of frame. However the patent described many features that were not seen on these metal Dazey churns just like the previous churn. The patent drawings showed an outer container to hold warm water and the dasher blades were three pieces of curved sheet metal rather than the four wood blades normally found on these butter churns.
This butter churn had tin handles on the front and rear of the tin container and the tin container was loose in the frame. The dasher rod could be loosened by a thumb screw and then the tin container could be removed from the frame. The dasher had four wooden blades. These butter churns had a drain at the bottom of the tin container sealed by a thumb screw faucet. They were also stenciled on the front of the tin container "The DAZEY Churn" along with the size and model number.
The butter churn above was patented on December 18, 1917 although we have seen this model with just the statement "PATENTED 1907" which must have been the earliest version of this butter churn. The 1917 patent was also granted to Nathan P. Dazey and it described the dasher assembly that is commonly found on Dazey butter churns. The angle of the blades was listed as 22 degrees and now flat wood blades are said to be best. The frames of these churns are also embossed DAZEY CHURN & MFG. CO. ST. LOUIS, MO. Some of these butter churns will also have the phrase MADE IN AMERICA embossed on the frame.
The butter churn pictured here was advertised as a model 300, although the frame is embossed 330B. The first digit refers to the size in gallons so this butter churn was 3 gallons capacity. This model came in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 16 and 28 gallon sizes. Early Dazey literature indicates that the larger sizes were introduced first and sold with the churns discussed above that carry the 1907 patent date. At a later date the smaller sizes of this butter churn replaced the ones carrying the 1907 patent date. On the 4 gallon and larger sizes the churn could be powered by an electric, gas or water motor. The butter churn pictured has square corners on the tin container. Later versions of this butter churn had rounded corners to make it easier to clean. Based on various hardware catalogs it appears this change was made in the early 1920's, most likely around the time the 1922 patented glass jar churns came out. These churns were still sold into the 1940's. They were priced from $7.20 to $9.10 for this 3 gallon size depending on the volume of the dealer.
This butter churn also had tin handles on the front and rear of the tin container and the tin container was loose in the frame. The dasher rod was removed by loosening a thumb screw similar to the previous butter churn. The churns with the square corners on the cream container all had dashers with 4 wood blades. The churns with the rounded corners on the cream container can be found with 2 and 4 bladed dashers. Most likely this change occured around 1936 at the same time the change was made from four to two blades on the glass jar churns. This churn also has a drain at the bottom of the tin container. Our observation is that the one gallon had no drain; the 2 gallon we have seen without a drain or with a threaded cap on the drain; the 3 gallon we have seen with a threaded cap on the drain or a faucet and the 4 gallon size and above usually had a thumb screw faucet. The earliest of the 1917 patented churns would have been stenciled similar to the churns discussed above. However some of the 1917 patented models with the square corners and most of the ones with rounded corners would have had a paper label on the front of the tin container rather than the stenciling.
In the 1930's, as churn sales were slowing, Dazey advertisements suggested using these butter churns to mix paints, lacquers, pastes and chemicals.
Click here to go to the page with Dazey Glass butter churns.
This is another Dazey metal churn that is embossed THE DAZEY CHURN and PATENTS PENDING. It is 6 gallons in size. On this churn the tin cream box is loose in the frame. The dasher paddles have the rounded tops and the small gear has round holes like the earliest Dazey butter churns. Based on this, the red color and the patents pending statement we feel that this butter churn would date before the 1907 patent making it the earliest Dazey metal churn. In fact we have seen it advertised for sale in July, 1907 newspaper ads. Based on the size it may have been the fore runner of the second churn shown on this page.
One interesting feature is the belt groove on the large wheel, presumably so the churn could be run off of a small motor. The entire frame is cast and very ornate compared to the later frames that had cast top and bottom pieces held together by threaded rods.
Thanks goes to Dennis for letting us show his churn. Check out his collection via the links page.