Iowa Butter for Use in the Navy

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 7, 1905

Iowa Butter for Use in the Navy

Creameries of the State Will Be Called Upon For Large Amount

The Local Product May Go

Fort Dodge Company Not Yet Called upon But May Contribute Before Contract is Filled – All Must Be of the Best Quality.

Fort Dodge people may be interested in the news that Iowa will furnish nearly all the butter for the consumption of the sailors in the United States navy next year, and that possibly some of the product of this city may go to make more palatable the hard tack of the boys who uphold the nation’s honor on the blue expanse. Four hundred thousand pounds or over is needed and all the big creameries of the state will be called upon to aid in furnishing the supply. Last year much of the butter consumed on naval vessels was bought from this state, the Sioux City creamery putting most of it on the market.

This season a much larger amount will be used and creameries all over the state will aid in putting forth the required amount.

The local manufactury as yet has had no call to put forth their product for the purpose but when the time comes those in the contract may be so rushed in filling the orders that resort will be made to the butter that is made in this city.

At Clarinda the big creamery is busily engaged in making 200,000 pounds of this butter, while the Monticello creamery has a similar contract.

Butter for the navy must all be put in three-pound cans, which are hermetically sealed, placed in sawdust packed boxes and then kept in cold storage at zero temperature, until ordered shipped to some ocean port to stock an American man of war. Swift & Company, the big packers of Chicago, secured the butter contract from the navy department and then sublet the immense contract to Iowa and Kansas creameries. As soon as the butter is packed it is sent to Chicago to be kept in the big cold storage buildings of the company until it is needed by the navy.

The government requires a somewhat different butter for its navy thatn is placed on the table for a landsman. It has been found that butter to stand the long trips of the war vessels to all climates must contain a low per cent of water and a high per cent of salt, and all the navy butter is made according to this requirement. The contracting companies are required to guarantee that this butter will keep for at least three years. In order to have the best possible dairy butter, the government also requires that its navy butter be packed only in the month of June and July. It is placed in three pound hermetically sealed tin cans.

At Clarinda a new process for sealing the cans has been successfully adopted. A cement composition is placed on the edge of the can top and then the can top is crimped firmly by a machine into this cement, thus making it air tight. Other creameries have had to solder each can and at Sioux City last year, when the navy butter was put up there, a force of nearly fifty solderers alone were kept busy. The new sealing process at Clarinda requires the services of only two or three men for the same amount of work.

For this butter in cans the government pays 29 cents a pound, which with the present butter market hovering about 20 cents a pound, is expected to give a good profit to the creameries, though the packing is more expensive than that required for the ordinary marketing of butter in the United States.


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