Historical information

Circa late 1800s. Wooden domestic butter-churn. This is a paddle churn, a barrel that contains a paddle, which is operated by a handle. The paddle churned the butter inside the container when the handle was turned. Early settlers had to be self sufficient, growing their own vegetables, making tools and clothing and usually had a house cow to produce their milk supply. An unsigned note states it was used by a Chinese market-gardener’s family. From the mid 1800s into the1900s, there were numbers of Chinese market gardeners working in Bentleigh, Moorabbin, Mc Kinnon, and Cheltenham in the
Shire of Moorabbin.


After the sale of land following 'Dendy's Special Survey' 1841 many Chinese settlers rented allotments and established market gardens in the area and sold their produce to the increasing population of Melbourne at the markets in St Kilda and Melbourne.

Physical description

Circa late 1800s. Wooden domestic butter-churn consisting of a wooden barrel with a lid and a crank that manually turned a paddle inside to separate the butter fat from the butter milk

Inscriptions & markings

'BUTTER CHURN' written in chalk
undated, unsigned