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The Cheshire Cows: 1940

The Cheshire Cows: 1940

September 1940. "Cows on the farm of Mrs. Dewitt Lasser, FSA client near Cheshire, Connecticut." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Old stanchion barn

In a day when milking parlors are computerized, my neighbor still operates a New England dairy barn that looks just like this. He milks about 30 head of Guernsey and Jersey cows twice a day, by himself. He's a tough old Mainer and proud of it.

The cows on Mrs. Lasser's farm are pretty much the same breeds. I see Jerseys and the third one in has a blaze like a Guernsey. Rich milk high in butterfat. These cows will produce about 5 gallons a day. In 1939 these cows may still be hand milked, but vacuum milkers had become immensely popular by then.

The girls in the photograph, I've seen that look before. They are expecting Jack Delano to kick some hay down in front of them. They are hungry!

Smile for the camera, ladies!

Back about this time, the beautiful town of Cheshire was said to have the largest percentage of its land under cultivation, of any town in the State. Its population was 4352 that year. Today it is home to over 29,000 folks, and known for growing LOTS of bedding plants (and subdivisions). Jack Delano sure had the eye for this work, he never disappoints! He took a number of pictures at several Cheshire farms in his travels.

A Word of Warning

I kissed the friendly brown eyed cow that gives us milk and cheese. Now I'm in the hospital with hoof and mouth disease.

Undivided attention

Seven out of nine. Well done, Jack Delano. Moo!

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