This butter mold was made by a New Hampshire company called Blanchard and Sons. It is made of white birch and is actually three separate pieces. Two of the four sides of the mold are permanently held together with dovetail joints to make an “L” shape… the flat piece with the design fits into grooves in the sides of the two “L” shapes… and all three pieces are held together by brass hooks that fasten onto large threaded brass pins.
This mold was being sold in both the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs in 1895 and cost one dollar at Montgomery Ward and ninety cents at Sears. This is the one-pound mold… there was also a half-pound and a two-pound size. This type of Blanchard mold was advertised as being very easy to take apart so the finished butter could be removed without the damage associated with the push-through type.
This butter mold is another one of the treasures I “inherited” when my father’s family homestead was sold. The family made and sold hundreds of pounds of butter each year. I know they would have used many, many molds but this one is the only one that has survived. I wonder what happened to all the rest.
From the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog:
The Blanchard Butter Mold.
56978 These celebrated molds are made of selected white birch, and only brass hooks and screws are used throughout, so that there is no possibility of rust and consequent discoloration of the wood. The bottom is prevented from warping by strong wooden cleats, while the sides are grooved sufficiently deep to allow for swelling when in use, and are “lock-cornered” together, thus securing the utmost possible rigidity. One great advantage of these molds over most other patterns on the market, is that the prints are released by a single motion, and in perfect shape, instead of being pushed forcibly through a form by a plunger, which injures the grain.
Half-pound size, print 5 inches long, 2¼ inches wide, 1¼ inches deep. Price…$0.85
One-pound size, print 5 inches long, 4½ inches wide, 1¼ inches deep. Price…1.00
Two-pound size, 10 inches long, 4½ inches wide, 1¼ inches deep. Price…1.40