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Related pages: Packages  ·  Canned  ·  Early pots  ·  Butter tub  ·  Cartons  · 

It goes without saying that the invention of the Peters' package as well as those of the Howe silicated carton and the Vavra high gloss paraffined carton opened up new opportunities for the merchandising of butter. The individual packaging of crackers got under way rapidly because of the consolidations that Editor Willson referred to. In addition, a development of considerable importance was the building in 1900 by the E. G. Staude Manufacturing Company of a shell carton machine. (U.S. Patent 730,410, June 9, 1903) for the Heywood Manufacturing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, which machine was to make two-pound folding cartons for Quaker Oats. According to Bettendorf (27) this machine took printed board from a roll and cut and creased the cartons at the rate of ninety per minute. Staude later built and patented similar and improved machines for Cream of Wheat Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ralston Purina Company, St. Louis, Missouri; Shredded Wheat Company, Niagara Falls, New York; the Larkin Company, Buffalo, New York; Fels and Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Postum Cereal Company, Battle Creek, Michigan; and the W. K. Kellogg Toasted Com Flake Company, Battle Creek Michigan. By 1909 the machine had been improved so that it would cut and crease "wet" printed stock from a web, strip the waste, and deliver two hundred box blanks per minute. It is this type of machine that is used for very long runs of cartons, printed or unprinted and glued or of the unglued over-wrapped type.

The butter industry was not prepared to undertake the mass production of cartooned butter at the start of the 20th Century as the means for so doing were not available either in its own production facilities nor in the supply of the paraffined cartons themselves. Automatic molding, wrapping and packing of butter prints was unknown although the industry was on the threshold of a tremendous expansion not only in production but in the development of its art. Such mechanical aids as the combined churn and worker (and incidentally 40 years later the "roll-less churn") mechanical refrigeration for processing and storage, pasteurizing equipment for batch and continuous operations, cream ripening and holding vats, neutralizing practice to enhance keeping quality and reduce churning losses of fat, and transportation and marketing were all waiting for their advent. Then too, in the production of cartons themselves, their fabrication from virgin pulp and their volume manufacture as well as multi-color printing and modern attention-compelling patterns were all developments still to be envisioned and created.

In order to convey some appreciation of the momentum that the creamery system did generate following the turn of the 20th Century, we have only to point out that in 1908 more patents were issued for butter churns than for any other device.

As a matter of fact, the Continental Creamery Company and later the Beatrice Creamery Company were able to take advantage of the potential markets for their Meadow Gold Butter in the Peters' "Inner-Seal" package as well as they did only with the most strenuous efforts.

According to "Tom" Borman (30) at that time general superintendent of the Topeka, Kansas plant of the Continental Creamery, "some of the prints were made manually with punch blocks after the butter had been permitted to chill and "firm up." Oftentimes the butter was cut from the tubs using a former machine designed to cut one-pound prints from tubbed or boxed butter. The scraps were then collected and prints made up with punch block. Continental Creamery first used the `Inner-Seal' carton with a manual operation later using a cumbersome machine designed by Mr. Peters, which performed the entire operation mechanically and thus increased the production enormously. This machine which had been designed and constructed rather hastily required almost constant attention and supervision by a trained mechanic."

Nevertheless, the success of Continental and Beatrice in discovering and establishing a market for cartooned butter, served to interest other factors in the industry to serve the apparent demand. Early in the 1900's, the Blue Valley Creamery Company of Chicago, Illinois spent considerable money in inaugurating the production and distribution of pound prints packed in cartons in the markets they were serving of which the City of Chicago was a considerable one. Fairmont Creamery Company of Omaha, Nebraska was not slow in realizing the marketing appeal of carton butter and early in the 1900's they also prepared to meet the mounting demand, as did other creamery organizations.