Dairy objects were scalded clean and the wood needed to be durable. Sycamore was favoured but white pine, cherry, popular and oak were also used.
Selling butter supplemented the farm income. Decoration of the butter with a design was important to distinguish the maker and the butter from others being sold.
Marigold and flower designs were the most popular. Cows, acorns, shamrocks, thistles, sheaves of corn, swans, hearts, strawberries, suns and circles also were common.
From 1889, with the founding of the co-operative creameries, home dairying declined and butterprints were no longer used for decorating the butter, except for home use.
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