69-80-552-a | Butter mould
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
125 x 10 cm
Gift of M & Mme Albert Girouard
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Keys to History
In the early 20th century, dairy products were an important part of the diet of most Canadians.. The first French colonists, like the later British immigrants, came from places where butter and cheese were commonly eaten. Their descendants maintained these traditions. Butter was recognized as an important source of fat, while cheese, although less frequetnly consumed, did gain in popularity with the introduction of cheddar which was both cheap and an excellent source of protein. Butter and cheese had another advantage: they kept well at a time when refrigeration methods were still very primitive. They were therefore available to city dwellers in large quantities all year long.
This rectangular butter mould is typical of those used on farms to make butter that was intended for sale. The pattern left on the surface of the butter identified the producer.
This mould is from the collection of the Acadian Museum in Moncton. The museum was established in 1886 to collect and preserve the heritage of New Brunswick Acadians.
Up until the 1880s, almost all the butter sold in Canada was made on farms. After that time, production shifted to small butter factories, also known as creameries, that soon accounted for the lion's share of the market.
On the farm, butter making was usually women's work. The farm woman and her daughters milked the cows and churned the butter.