World Debut of Buttermaking Exhibit Coming to Atlanta


One of the oldest artifacts in the Butterworld collection. It is a section from a book printed in 1662 in England. It is about parliament’s “An Act of reforming of abuses committed in the weight and false packing of butter”.

Rare, Traveling Dairy Artifact Exhibit to Debut at Wise Traditions 2013

by Kimberly Hartke

Butterworld, a traveling exhibition showcasing unique, rare and historical dairy artifacts, will open to the public for the first time ever at the Wise Traditions Conference from November 8-10, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.

“The opportunity to debut this unique exhibition at the Wise Traditions Conference just made sense,” says exhibit curator Sandeep Agarwal. “Attendees of this conference are passionate about traditional foods, and dairy products have been an important part of traditional diets across so many cultures. This is a wonderful opportunity to share these rare artifacts that have been collected from around the world.”


A wood and tin butter churn from 1850-1880’s. Photo credit:

The collection includes over 150 artifacts spanning the 17th through 20th centuries – from historical books to vintage advertisements to antique bottles, butter churners and other equipment. Many of the artifacts will be displayed with historical context. In the mid-19th century, for example, there was a common superstition that cream would not turn into butter if it was haunted by a witch, who could only be scared away by a red-hot horseshoe. The Osborne’s Improved Thermometer Churn, which houses an internal tin tub to heat the cream, was marketed as a solution to keep away the “cream witch.”

The collection also includes a few items that will be of special interest in raw milk advocates. There is the calendar from 1949 picturing Howard Jones, a famous USC football coach, who was quoted as saying, “To develop rugged bodies and staying power, children need a quart of fresh milk daily.” There is also the cream-separating bottle, whose design allows cream to be poured into coffee without allowing any skim milk to come with it.

Exhibit curator Sandeep Agarwal’s interest in dairy history grew out of his family’s fifth-generation ghee business and the culturally significant role that dairy plays within his Indian heritage.

For a limited time and only for the Wise Traditions Conference, Butterworld will also include a special exhibit examining the history of cod liver oil. This exhibit will showcase historical cod liver oil pamphlets, antique cod liver bottles and a Victorian-era spoon from England purposed specifically for taking cod liver oil. Butterworld will be open to conference attendees throughout the duration of the weekend. Tickets can be purchased for $5 cash at the entrance to the exhibit.

Kimberly Hartke is the Publicist for the Campaign for Real Milk, a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C.

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