Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Gothic Dairy

Thursday, August 4, 2011
Loretta reports:

Dairies on country estates could be beautiful things.  This gives some insight into hygienic measures.

The annexed design represents the decorated elevation of a picturesque building, suitable to a bay or garden recess, in which they are appropriately situated, and always pleasing: its interior embellishments should be of marble, relieved by glazed tiles; and if painted in the Gothic forms by which the spandrels of some of our cathedrals are tesselated, it would be in good taste and character; and the windows being judiciously ornamented with painted glass, the whole would be brilliant and agreeable.
The requisites for the perfection of a dairy are, coolness and the most delicate cleanliness, a perfect ventilation, and an aspect that will permit the sun to enter the apartment until its altitude would render the dairy too warm; for the damps which remain from the night cannot be too soon or too thoroughly evaporated ; and even the moisture consequent on the morning ablutions should be speedily removed, to prevent the effects of that degree of heat and moisture which in a hot day would else be consequent upon such neglect: on a similar account, this building ought not to be embowered too much by trees and shrubs, and care should be taken that no trees may be placed in its neighbourhood that can impart unfavourable tastes or scents to the milk and cream,which readily adopt incongruous flavours, and are very tenacious in retaining them.

A double roof is essential to the dairy, and a free current of air should pass between them, or no means will prevent the excess of heat, which in hot weather is fatal to its purposes, particularly if the floors are wet or very damp at the same time.
Although part of the above observations are at variance with the usual practices in the business of the dairy, a little reflection will shew the propriety of adopting them. 
Ackermann's Repository, August 1821


Anonymous said...

Love it. Thanks Loretta

So if the trees impart flavor, what flavor does the milkmen/maids with questionable hygiene impart?
Or is this like the great tradition of blaming the dog?

Lauren Hairston said...

I'm trying to imagine the contrast between the menial labor and the glorious cathedral setting!

It's nice to have evidence that at least someone in 1821 was interested in cooling the dairy and keeping it clean. Of course, they didn't have the insurance of pasteurization, so it was really important milk be as clean as possible!

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