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CHURN (O. Eng. cyrin; found in various forms in most Teutonic languages, cf. Dutch karn; according to the New English Dictionary not connected with "quern," a mill), a vessel in which butter is made, by shaking or beating the cream so as to separate the fatty particles which form the butter from the serous parts or buttermilk. Early churns were upright, and in shape resembled the cans now used in the transport of milk, to which the name "churn" is also given. The upright churn was worked by hand by a wooden "plunger"; later came a box-shaped churn with a "splasher" revolving inside and turned by a handle. The modern type of churn, in large dairies worked by mechanical means, either revolves or swings itself, thus reverting to the most primitive method of butter-making, the shaking or swinging of the cream in a skin-bag or a gourd. (See Dairy.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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