1922 Skimit Kitchen Cream Separator Advertisement

Advertisement for Skimit Kitchen Cream Separator
Source: American Cookery (June/July, 1922)

Cooks today worry about the high cost of food. They also worried about food costs a hundred years ago, and tried to save money whenever possible. For example, some cooks apparently skimmed cream from the top of a bottle of milk to save money. Back then homogenized milk was just being introduced to the consumer market, so the milk that most people drank was not homogenized. This means that the cream and milk separated, and that the cream would float to the top. The milk beneath the cream was basically skim milk. If whole milk was desired, the jar or bottle of milk needed to be shaken before using to get the cream and skim milk to recombine. The Skimit Kitchen Cream Separator sounds like it could be used to easily remove the cream from the top of the milk.  Who would have guessed that kitchen gadget drawers a hundred years ago may have contained a milk skimming tool?


18 thoughts on “1922 Skimit Kitchen Cream Separator Advertisement

  1. We had one! But we rarely used it: far too much like hard work, and in any case, my family preferred shaking the bottle to have a richer glass of milk. I’m thoroughly used to semi-skimmed now though.

    1. Wow – it’s fascinating that your family had one of these. I think that if we wanted cream when I was a child that we just used a spoon to skim it off the top of the milk.

    1. mmm. . . . it sounds wonderful. I grew up on a farm, and miss the fresh milk. It tasted so much better than the milk that I buy at the store.

  2. Ha! My mother used to tell the story about her best friend Nancy’s brother – he’d volunteer to bring in the milk and in the process manage to drink off a little of the cream. His mother was furious when she eventually found out! But my mother thought he was clever (6 yr olds are easily impressed)…

  3. I have a handy cream separator that looks something like the one above, but with no siphon. It’s actually much simpler. You put the little device into the bottle, push down the plunger and it fills with cream, then you release the plunger and it seals the cream in so you can take it out of the bottle without mess. I used it on a non-homogenized bottle of milk from a local dairy and it was perfect. But what I use it for is to skim fat from a stock! Works great!

    1. You make me wish that I had one of these. I always struggle to skim fat from stock. I know that it would be easy to do if I refrigerated the stock, but often want to use it immediately.

  4. Our neighbors had dairy cows and they would usually share a gallon of milk with us each week. Mom just used a spoon to dip off the cream to make whipped cream or butter, otherwise, it was just shaken into the milk.

  5. What fun it was to read this! Our milk was not homogenized when I was a child, but I don’t remember how my mother dealt with it. Being a gadget lover, I would love to have had this pump if I had been in her shoes.

    1. My gadget drawer is full of things – so if I needed to skim cream from milk, I might try to do it with a spoon so I won’t need to try to cram another thing into that drawer. 🙂

  6. This is interesting. I remember Mama milking the cow, straining the milk. and skimming the milk. I bet she’d of liked to of had that separator. I also enjoyed helping to churn the butter. Ah, those were the days. 🙂

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