The original Dazey churn arrived on the American market right after the turn of the 20th century--maybe as early as 1904. Dazey was not the first, but is the most famous churn maker in the collectibles market. The patent of the first butter churn was in 1891 by A. C. Richardson, reports the Antique Trader. The actual patent date for the Dazey churn was Feb. 14, 1922, but Daisy sold churns long before that. Dazey has been so famous in recent years that its churns have been reproduced. Know the difference and look for an original Dazey churn.
Look at the glass jar, if you are looking at a glass churn. (Dazey made a few churns with a metal base.) Dazey glass churns have an embossed name, and the large churns have an embossed daisy on the bottom of the jar. The name should be Dazey Churn & Mfg. Company in a horseshoe arch and St. Louis, Mo., along the base of the arch. There should be an embossed 10, 20, 30 or 40 for the size of the jar on the bottom, as well. Some reproduction churns have misspellings, typical of foreign imports; others do not have the correct embossing.
Expect old glass in an original Dazey churn bottom. The glass base was kitchen glass, not quality, and there were bubbles and flaws in the old churn bottoms, just like old canning jars. The glass in new imports looks too shiny, but is not quality glass either.
Check the wooden handle on the top. Copies have a shorter handle than the original, and the handle assembly is with a bolt or screw. Original Dazey churns have a rivet.
Confirm the paddle is not made of wood other than maple--sometimes pine. Dazey used maple paddles.
Find the label. Dazey churns had a large label, and these were hard to remove. Many are partially intact. Originals had the “Dazey Churn & Mfg. Co” name, “It’s a Dazey Churn” or “The New Improved Dazey Churn” label.
Watch for imitation aging. The metal may be aged to make a new churn look original.
Watch out for “married” churns. If the churn fell off the table during a rambunctious churning, the glass broke, but the top and paddle were still good. The nearest general store had replacement glass jars, but Dazey did not make these. Many Dazey tops have married bottoms; likewise, some Dazey bottoms have tops from Elgin, Sears or Dandy.
Expect reproductions of small Dazey churns. Toy and salesman's samples did not exist in Dazey churns. These are fantasy items and clearly reproductions.
A Midwest Messenger article reports that the Dazey was not actually made in St. Louis, but was made by Standard Churn Company of Wapakoneta, Ohio.
- Rusty Milk Churn image by levo from Fotolia.com