The members of the above club met at their Club Room, Old Market Hall Chambers, to hear and discuss a paper on "Milk and its products" - introduced by the president MR. WILLIAM HENRY WAKEFIELD, Sedgwick House. The paper was of a very interesting character, and a great many were present, amongst whom we noticed the president ( MR. WAKEFIELD), the secretary, ( MR. HOGGARTH ), MR. GEO. E. WILSON, Dallam Tower; MR. ALFRED KEIGHLEY, Old Hall; MR. G. F. BRAITHWAITE, MR. CHARLES WILKINSON, MR. STANSFELD, Kendal; MR. J. CROPPER, Eller Green; MR. W. WAKEFIELD, Hyning; MR. TALBOT, Milnthorpe; COL. MURRAY, Kendal; THE MAYOR OF KENDAL, MR. J. J. WILSON ; MR. PANCHARD, Kirkby Lonsdale; MR. FULTON, Sedgwick Cottage; MR. KEY, Casterton; MR. TURTON, Stavely; MR. MILNE, Lawrence House; MR. HOLMES, Milnthorpe; MR. BARROW, MR. MARTINDALE, and a great number of the leading tenant farmers of the district.
MR. WAKEFIELD said he would have to act as his own chairman, and proceeded at once to read the following paper: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is usual to begin at the beginning, but I am going to commence at the end, not by reading my paper backwards way, but by simply remarking that when I had finished writing what I have here prepared, I found I had undertaken a task for which I wasn't at all competent, and I was so much out of patience that I felt tempted to tear it up and put it in the fire.
The subject is a thoroughly scientific one, and should be so dealt with by a scientific man, which I have no claim to be; or else it should be treated in a popular way by some one thoroughly understanding it -- and to this I cannot lay claim. So that you see, I wasn't fit for my job, and I only offered myself in default of anyone else coming forward. I must, therefore, crave your indulgence, and only hope that if I have raised a single point of interest for either present or future consideration, our meeting to-day won't have been altogether in vain.
to be continued.........................................
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB.................part #2
MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS.
As members of the Kendal Farmers' Club, we cannot fail to take an interest in the prosperity of our good old town. Being, as it is, a manufacturing town, that prosperity depends principally upon the high character which its manufacturers have obtained and have now held for many years past, a pre-eminence which we trust they may long continue to hold.
Without detaining you more than a few minutes, I will just mention a few articles which have made the name of Kendal so well known in the manufacturing world, and the last that I shall name will be one that will bring me at once to my subject -- "milk and its products".
We have quite sufficient to interest us in the present, though I may just allude in passing to the olden times (some people call them the good old times), when ROBIN HOOD and his men were clad in the famous Kendal-green. They were great rogues, but anyhow they knew what was good to wear, and got the best of it, paying for it doubtless with the money out of other folks' pockets; that is, if they didn't steal it off the tenters.
Who has not heard of Kendal-brown, equally famous in modern times with Kendal-green cloth of the old? I don't now speak of brown cloth, but of snuff, which forms an important article in the trade of Kendal.
I suppose we may have some snuff takers in the present company, and if so they will at once recognise an old and valued friend under the name of Kendal Brown. In every tobacconist's shop of any eminence throughout the kingdom, and for aught I know throughout the civilised world, you can obtain this much-valued commodity, and you very commonly see it advertised in large letters, showing that it is one of the chief attractions they have in the shop.
But let me warn the inexperienced snuff taker to be careful in his first approaches to it. It is much too strong to be taken freely with impunity - the result being something more than sneezing. Its strength is usually described in this way: that one good big pinch will blow the top of your head off, and possibly damage the roof of the house afterwards.
This may or may not be an exaggerated description of the strength of Kendal-brown, but anyhow you will find it uncomman strong.
By the way, I remember when as a boy, some 26 years ago, I was living in the south of France, I once saw a tobacconist's shop with this description over the door: "Qui ne prendt pas de Tabac, n'est pas digna de vivre" -- The literal translation of which is this......................He who doesn't take snuff is not fit to live.
If the Kendal tobacconists feel disposed to adopt this motto, they might have it a little varied in some such form as the following...................
He who is not a good taker of snuff,
You may say, without doubt, he's a regular muff.
to be continued....................................................
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB.......................part #3
MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS.
Some years ago I was anxious to ascertain whether the Kendal beer, which is drunk at times so freely, and which seems from its effects to be as strong as the Brown, was really pure and unadulterated. Accordingly, I procured four samples of it from four different public-houses in the town, at which I was informed there was by far the largest consumption, and I sent them to DR. HASSELL, the eminent analytical chemist, eminent especially for his analysis of all articles of food and rink. The result was very different to what I and many others expected.
We expected that the analyses would reveal the presence of various ingredients, which I need not now particularise, but which stimulate thirst to a great extent: but the report was that in none of the four samples could any of these noxious ingredients be detected; that the beer was pure and unadulterated. But then came this very important statement, which went at once to the root of the matter; these four beers, or rather we will call them by the more dignified name of ale, were just about half as strong again as the ordinary ales and porters sold in London. So you see, my inquiry brought out two important facts - the strength of the Beer and the honesty of the Brewer.
I will take yet another sample of Kendal manufacturre, and then the next which follows will bring me to my subject. I was in the north of Ireland this last summer, and wishing to encourage in a small way the native manufactures, I told my friend at whose house I was staying that I should like to get a real genuine article of Irish make.
He told me I couldn't do better than get an Irish frieze great coat; that for warmth, power of resisting wet, and all the other good qualities, whatever they may be, which a good great coat ought to have, there was nothing like them to be got out of the Emerald Isle.
Accordingly, I went to MR. M'GEE, a well-known tailor in Belfast, and ordered one of these same coats; but like all
other coats, it required to be lined, and as you are all well aware lining is an article in which there is great choice. "We have nothing as good as this," said MR. M'GEE, pointing to some nice soft material, from a large roll of which one of his men was in the act of cutting off what was necessary for the lining of another coat that was making for somebody else.
"That's the very thing," said I, "how beautifully soft it is. Where do you get it from " I hope it's of Irish manufacture."
"No sir, I'm sorry to say it isn't. We're obliged to come across to your side of the channel for it -- we can't get anything as good here; and in fact there's only one place in England where we can get it all. We get it from a town called Kendal -- perhaps you know the place."
He then went on to tell me the name of the firm from whom he got it, but I shan't particularize, as that would be invidious. But of course I made a note of the celebrity of Kendal.
And now, you will say it's about time I should be getting to my subject. So think I; and we won't be long about it.
to be continued.......................................................................
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB...............part #4
It was just about the time when LADY ALICE KENLIS had offered, with a kindness which we all appreciated, to give a prize at our agricultural show for the best sample of butter, and so my interest was vey readily stirred up at the sight of this advertisement; and I found on inquiry that it was just the same with the Butter as with the other articles mentioned above.
Kendal was at the top of the tree; long may she remain there. But there is such a thing as false trade marks. We will hope for the sake of morality in general, and the trade of Kendal in particular, that all articles sold with the name of our town attached to them, are what they profess to be, and that our good name and fair fame will be maintained. And now, from Butter to Milk, is not a very long jump. Let us see what we can make out of it ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Milk, as you are doubtless aware, not of course from practice, but from hearsay, is an article capable of being adulterated like anything else. There are various breeds of cows, each of which is said by its advocate to have the best milking properties in contra distinction to its power of making beef -- the two qualities do not usually go together to any remarkable extent. But the breed of cow I now allude to is that which doesn't grow hair upon his tail, from the simple fact that the tail is made from iron.
"The cow with the iron tail" is a regular proverb in our large towns where the demand for milk is far, very far, in excess of the possible supply.
You know, I dare say, the very simple story of the milkman's boy in London. The servant whose duty it was to take in the morning's milk, and who noticed one day that the milk didn't look quite as clean as usual, remarked to him, " say Johnnie, your father's been putting dirty water into the milk this morning?"
'No, please, I'm sure he didn't, for I fetched it myself straight from the pump, and our water is always very clean."
We hope that our little friend retained his simple honesty to his life's end, if he be now dead, speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The water is used very largely in order to make milk go further (to use a polite term), no one will be disposed for a moment to dispute; but I may state on the authority of DR. VOELEHER, that it is, as a rule, the only form of adulteration, and being naturally the easiest and cheapest, we can easily suppose that it will be adopted.
We may be thankful that such is the case, and that there is no temptation to introduce anything of a more deleterious character as is done so extensively in many other articles of food, and consequently that though some milk dealers may break the 8th commandment, we needn't be afraid of their breaking the 6th by poisoning.
to be continued.........................................................................
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB..................part #5
The importance of pure milk as an article of daily food cannot be overrated. It is in point of fact the only food which is alone capabLE of supporting life. I don't mean to say that a labouring man could work on this and nothing else, but if he can get plenty of it good, it will go a long way towards the support of himself and his children. If he be the fortunate possessor of a cow, the wherewithal to keep one, he has made the first step towards his promotion in the social scale; his family will be in the enjoyment of a luxury in the shape of good pure milk, which it is not in the power of many of his neighbours to obtain.
The same rule holds good for man as for cattle. If a fine healthy vigorous race is to be reared, they must be well fed. In confirmation of this I would invite comparison between the physical condition of our north country labourers with those of the south; and I do not hesitate to say that the comparison is immensely in favour of the north, and in proof thereof, I would state upon good authority that the strongest navvies are from the hill districts of Lancashire, our strongest agricultural labourers are to be found in Westmorland and Cumberland, and in the hill districts of Scotland --Aberdeenshire in particular.
These have been the favourite recruiting grounds for guardsmen and soldiers of the greatest size and strength, the foundation of this size and strength having been laid in early youth by the comparatively cheap and abundant supply of fresh and good milk.
Those who have employed labourers both in the north and south of England say that the north countryman is well worth the differences in his wages, that he is cheap if not cheaper at 18s a week, than the other is at 10s or 11s.; for that I grieve to sae is in many cases the miserable pittance doled out at wages in many of the southern counties, with the addition of possibly some wretched beer or cider.
If then it be true, as I hold it is, that milk is of the first importance as an article of food, how desirable is it that we should get it pure and of the best quality, and the question will then be very naturally put, what tests can be applied to detect any adulteration ?
I have before observed that water is the only adulteration which we need to look for, and just in proportion as more or less water has been added does the mixture vary in weight, or, to use the proper term, in specific gravity. Perhaps I may be excused if I explain that by specific gravity is meant the weight of any article in comparison with water, which is taken as the standard - thus taking the weight of water as one, supposing the weight of milk to be half as heavy again as water, it would be said to have a specific gravity of one a half.
As a matter of fact the weight of pure milk is not anything as much as this in excess of water,it is only about 1- 40th heavier than water, and it may very naturally be said how difficult to detect adulteration where you have to judge by very small differences, but in reality this is not the case.
Instruments are now made with such exactitude and graduated with such minuteness that the smallest differences can be detected.
I have here, three samples of milk..........................................
1st....................... pure milk
2nd..................... 3/4 milk 1/4 water
3rd..................... 1/2 milk 1/2
and you will observe the difference as shown by the hydrometer. This is a very simple test, and one which may be readily applied. Of course, consumers on a very small scale are not likely to have the means at hand though they are the very people to whom it is of the most importance to have a genuine good article, but they could take a small sample to some competent person who would determine for them the actual state of the case. [ MR. WAKEFIELD here made several interesting experiments with the hydrometer ].
An attempt has been made in London to establish what has been called a Dairy Reform association and the difficulties the company have had to contend with have been very great from the opposition offered by the general dealers in milk of the quality usually sold (Vide Journal Society of Arts. No. 753, page 355 ).
So far I have spoken only of the purity of milk as regards adulteration and the means to detect it, but it is quite possible to have an article genuine as to purity, and at the same time very poor as to quality. I need hardly tell you that different cows give milks of very varying qualities, and the fact that the milk of one cow was found very inferior to that given by another would by no means prove that there had been any tampering with the purity.
A cow keeper will very naturally regulate his proceedings according to the nature of his business. If he goes in for simply selling milk to be used as milk, he will go in for quantity rather than quality, and this brings us to a part of my subject of great interest.
The governor of a prison in Germany tried experiments upon two lots of prisoners. Bread and water was the regular and only diet, a fixed quantity of each being given. He selected six men, and gave them their food in the usual way, the bread dry, and the water to drink as they felt disposed. He then selected six others, and gave them their bread sopped in the same quantity of water as he had given the others. The result was that they lost considerably, whereas the first kept their ground.
He then reversed the order, and treated the first six in the same way as he had done the second lot, and the seconed as he had done the first, with the same result. Those who had done badly on the mixed bread and water, immediately improved when they had them separately, and the other lot when fed on the sop at once began to lose ground in the same way, proving that mastication is necessary to promote a healthy state of digestion, and so to get the good out of food.
Dry bread cannot be swallowed without this process of mastication, and the saliva that is thus produced is a great means of helping digestion; whereas the bread sopped in water can be swallowed down almost without any effort, and consequently does not do the same good.
Take an instance of this familiar to us all. We know how some horses pass a good deal of their corn very much, if not quite, in the same condition as it was given them. Clearly this is just so much wasted. But give chaff along with their corn, either chopped hay or straw, the latter being I think the best, there will not then be much waste. A horse cannot swallow down chaff without mastication. If he did so the sharp ends of the hay or straw would hurt his throat.
And, as it holds good in the case of men and horses, so it will apply equally to cows. I would contend that a large amount of boiled soft stuff which they can easily swallow down without any effort cannot be good for them, as regards their own health, and what affects their health will certainly affect the quality of their milk
Cows fed in towns get a very large quantity of brewers grains, and hence it is that as a rule their milk is very inferior to that given by country cows, which are too far off to make the grains worth carriage, but more especially where the farmer, to having a convenient sale for his milk, goes in for making butter.
And now, if I have not wearied your patience, I must just say a few words on another part of my subject...............................................
to be continued.
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB.......................................#6
The true test of the quality of milk is the amount of cream that it will throw up, and this is very easily ascertained by placing the milk in a glass tube, and letting it stand until all the cream has come to the top, when the line of separation between the cream and milk, which is quite clear on close inspection, shows exactly the percentage of cream which the milk yields. This as I said before, is a very varying quantity, varying both with the character of the cow and the manner in which she is fed. The Alderney cows give the most cream, as much as 15 per cent.; but then it must be remembered they give comparatively little milk, and are what we call very bad to feed off.
I will just then repeat, the cream test is the only certain guide as to the quality of milk, and you see how easily the test is applied. I intend to get a lot of milk tubes and shall be most happy to give them to any one who cares to have them.
I had intended experimenting before you with an atmospheric churn,, showing how very quickly butter can be made from fresh milk, with unvarying certainty if the conditions of the milk as to temperature are carefully observed. But though the experiment might and would have been interesting, I am not sure that it would have been instructive, as I have not yet been able to satisfy myself than beyond leaving the butter milk quite sweet, and such as no one would object to drink, the atmospheric churn does what it professes to do. I believe it makes better butter, but it professes to get more of it out of the milk, and this is the point I haven't yet made out satisfactorily.
If you go to the shop in London where there is one of these churns constantly at work, you see a very astonishing result, but then they always operate upon Alderney milk, and I should like to be quite sure that they don't add some extra cream to it. The next time I go to London I shall take a can of my own milk with me, and make them perform on that.
I hope they won't say so long a journey has disagreed with the milk, but I think if I have the can quite full (2 quarts is sufficient), and string it up at the top of the railway carriage, it won't take much harm, barring always a collision.
But I will just read you another extract from the same number of the journal of the Society of Arts, from which I got my information respecting the London Company formed to sell pure butter milk (vide page 357, 1st column).
And now before I conclude, I must say a word about the quality of butter. Not about the churning process, excepting that I should suppose the same rule as to temperature would hold good for churning cream with the ordinary churn, as for churning fresh sweet milk with the atmospheric churns.
to be continued.................................................
KENDAL FARMERS' CLUB.........................................#7
I know that great difficulty is often met with - the butter is sometimes very obstinate about making its appearance - but with the atmospheric churn, the milk being at a temperature of 68 degrees, you may depend on having the butter in a quarter of an hour at the outside, but it is more frequently less than that.
But, we will suppose the butter made. Now as to quality. There are two very important points to be observed, namely, the condition which it is in as to "dryness" and its "taste". Butter which has not been well worked, from which the whole, or next to it, of the butter milk has not been got out, cannot have good keeping properties. At this season of the year, this may not be of the same importance, but in summer, especially such summers as the two last, it is "very" important.
We had recently, at our agricultural show, a most interesting competition for the butter prizes, so kindly given, as I mentioned before by LADY ALICE KENLIS, but with all due respect for the gentleman who acted as judge, I think he left his work rather short, by confining himself to tasting the samples. I think that in each case he should have taken a half pound from each lot, and cut it through.
We all know how butter that has been left short of working, when you cut into it, the butter milk will spurt out, and the fresh cut surfaces will stand all over with small drops of moisture. This is not as it should be, I need hardly remark, for a solid, firm, well-worked butter presents a vey different appearance. I think, then, that the butter judge failed to ascertain the condition in this respect, which I contend is a very important one.
I would not for one moment venture to say that those who gained the prizes were not worthy of them - far be it from me to do anything so ungenerous. But this I will say, that I think that the judge, by the way in which he conducted his examination did not prove it as clearly as might have been desired.
( ** We have been asked by MR. WAKEFIELD to omit the concluding portion of his paper, relating to the taste of turnips in butter, and to state that he finds it was written under a misapprehension as to the facts, and that the simple remedy named is not to be depended on ** ).
The CHAIRMAN invited the company to discuss any point, and thought that the question of dry versus moist feeding was worthy of their attention, and asked if MR. MORTON was there, who would, no doubt, bring good and pure milk to town, and might enlighten them upon the matter of feeding. But MR. MORTON was not in the room.
MR. PUNCHARD said he had been experimenting by giving two milch cows Kohl-Rabi, and other two turnips, and made a statement of the results, but said he was not prepared to state exactly how much superior Kohl-Rabi was to turnips, in the production of milk, but hoped to give them the result of his further observations at some future meeting ( Hear, Hear.)
As the matter of milk was before them, he might say he attached much importance to the character and situation of the dairy. Some people kept the milk in the same place as the general store of meat and provisions, this, he thought would affect the milk, as it gathered up all the smells, which he considered a bad thing, and the dairy ought to be in some other part of the property [Hear, hear].
The CHAIRMAN said they had tested, at Well Heads, two cows in May, the quantity was 8-1/2 quarts of good milk which produced 1 quart of cream, and the cream produced 11 ounces of butter. The other day they had made the same experiment, and the result was 11-1/2 ounces of butter. In answer to a question he said they were not the same animals, but as near as they could come.
MR. W. WAKEFIELD said, in reference to the remark in the Chairman's paper as to the test of the cream being the way to get at the value of the milk, that there was the casein which was a valuable property of milk in the production of cheese, and might exist in larger proportions when the milk did not throw off such large quantities of cream.
So each farmer should find out whether his cows were of more value to him in giving milk or butter or in the production of cheese; and also with a view to make the most money out of his farm, find out what the land was best adapted for.
He knew a farm near Burnley which had been tried by several to make it into a dairy farm, but could not. It was, in every respect, a good sheep farm, but it was a failure in each attempt to make it a dairy farm.
It was then of the greatest importance for a farmer to become acquainted with the nature of the land in order to get the best possible returns. (Hear, hear.)
The CHAIRMAN said his cousin was looking at the question from a scientific point, but he had only taken up the question in the most simple way he possibly could by the experiments he had shown.
MR. BARROW proposed a vote of thanks to MR. WAKEFIELD for his paper, and the meeting broke up.