Artifact of the Week: Butter Mold

What is this? What was it used for?

Who would have used it? When do you think it was made?



Answers:

What is this? What was it used for?

This is a wooden butter mold! Essentially it is an open wooden box, into which unshaped butter can be placed, and a lid with a handle used to press tightly and forming a perfect block of butter. Butter is made by churning or agitating milk until the fat separates from the buttermilk. The butter can then be used for a variety of purposes.

Who would have used it? When do you think it was made?

The first butter was most likely made from sheep or goat milk. The use of butter is known to be at least a thousand years older than the domestication of cattle. So the history of making butter is almost as old as the history of milk. This butter mold was made sometime in the previous century, and is a replica of the simple type used in Europe and North America.



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