Film: 6164

Food + Drink | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

A well filmed educational film about milk production, reflecting the methods of dairy faming, milk collection and processing and distribution in Australia in the late 1940's.

Australian suburban street of late 1940's, a pretty "Diary Farmers" horse-drawn milk cart is driven down the street by a white coated milkman, a young boy rides by on his bicycle, the milk cart pulls up, the milkman alights with a wire basket of bottled pints of milk, he opens the typical wire gate of the front garden of one of the houses and walks up the path. A young girl and her older brother come out of the fly-wire screen front door, she has ringlets and a large bow in her hair, he wears a fair-isle jumper and shorts, the milkman gives them a bottle of milk each. The young boy holds his bottle carefully.

An Australian farmhouse with ill-kempt garden, a man and his daughter walk out the front door, a border collie sheep dog leads. Mr. Brown and Susie walk down the dusty driveway, holding hands; she skips. Mr. Browns 48 cows are in a paddock with thick but dry pasture, Susie climbs through the wire fence her father holds apart for her. She runs into he paddock and waves her arms, she pushes the herd to the gate. A mother cow and calf stand patiently. The calf drinks form the cow, swishing the flies away with its tail. There is a close-up of the calf drinking from the cows udder. Three cows stand at the edge of the water hole, they are drinking. Mr. Brown drives the cows along the worn path in the pasture, he is riding his horse. He rides by the tree in the field. The cows walk along slowly in front.

An older man wearing braces walks with some of the cows around the modern milking shed, one of the cows follows him. The cow wanders into one of the milking stall, of which there are six in the shed. The farmers son, Jack, wipes down the udders of the cows with a damp cloth, the cows are tied with light chains into their milking stalls. Jack wipes the cow's udder carefully, he wears a hat and short sleeved shirt and shorts. The cows look slightly wary. Jack places the four suction caps of the milking machine onto the cows. Two cows stand with their backs to the camera, the milking machines are attached to their udders, they stand and swish their tails as they are milked. There is a close-up of the four cups on the udder drawing the milk. The milk is seen through the glass section of the milking machine. The milk from all the cows goes into a large round stainless steel vat in the milk room next door to the milking shed. The warm milk is quickly cooled by a refrigeration unit, and runs into three milk cans. Mr. Brown pushes a cow out of the bail when it is finished being milked. Jack removes the caps from the cows udder when it has finished, he hangs up the cups and picks up a pail, he sits on a small stool next to the cow and expertly finishes off milking the cow by hand, this is called "dripping". Jack has finished the cow, he stands and removes the leg rope from the cow and swings open the door for the cow to go out. She leaves the shed and joins the milked cows in the morning sun.

The milk lorry has come to collect the milk, it is placed beside the milking shed and the farmer, and driver loads several round milk cans onto the back, Susie stands on the truck's running board watching. Mr. Brown and the truck driver lift one side of the milk cans each and hoist the full can onto the truck, the older man in braces brings another milk can out of the milk room on a trolley. In the morning sun, the cows meander back to their paddock. Susie stands on the fence railing with her father & waves goodbye to the driver as he drives the milk truck away through the farm. The truck has many cans in the back.

The milk lorry drives up a slight incline on a sealed country road. It pulls into the milk factory, a brick building which already has a truck backed into the loading bay. A young man in white overalls beckons the lorry in. The driver stands with one foot on the truck's running board as he reverses his lorry into the unloading bay. The trucks tray is even with the floor of the milk factory, a young man in white overalls hoists the milk cans onto a conveyor belt, another young man comes to assist him, he pries the lids off the milk cans and makes sure they are moving on the belt. The conveyor belt moves towards a big vat, two men take a handle of the milk can each and pour it into the vat, one of the men moves the can away off the belt. There is a close-up of the milk being poured into a vat in order for it to be cooled. A man tests the milk from every can with a small dipper sample, which is then poured through a small container. It has a filter on its base and it collects any contamination that may be present. The tester inspects the round filter and makes a note in his book.

Two refrigerated milk lorries drive down the country road. Milk is being poured via an overhead hose into a train milk wagon. The old coal powered steam train passes through the countryside, the engine is noteworthy in that it is quite old, there is a very nice shot of the approaching train, the scene is framed by the leaves of a tree, the engine pulls eight cylindrical milk tanks and there is a nice shot of the end of the train with the goods wagon and the guards van. The train crosses a bridge on a river, almost a silhouette, a small punt lies on the river sands in the foreground. The milk tanks are shunted along the rail lines at the milk depot.

Inside the bottling plant a man in white overalls stands on a raised platform, stainless steel pipes pump milk into storage tanks below, the milk is heated to pastuerise it, several men in white overalls move about observing. A man watches closely as the conveyor belt of glass milk bottles moves past, he checks to see they are absolutely clean. The bottles are filled as they circle a piece of the pant. The foil lids are placed on the second section of the circular conveyor equipment, the bottles move forward and are removed by hand by two workers either side of the assembly line. An overhead shot shows a man and two women putting the bottles into wooden boxes as they pass by. At another assembly line end, two men place the bottles in the boxes, as they move them off the assembly line they tip the bottles upside down quickly, presumably to check the security of the foil bottle tops, the boxes move away on another conveyor belt. A man at the end of the belt is loading boxes into the back of a milk cart, which is reversed into a covered loading bay, when the cart is full, the man loading advises the driver, and the horse pulls away, we see it is the original pretty horse drawn milk cart from the opening scenes, in the background there are examples of various types of milk trucks and milk delivery vehicles from various periods. The milk cart comes down the suburban street of the opening scenes. The milkman secures the horses reins on a point of the roof of the cart and alights from the milk cart, and he carries a wire basket with nine bottles of milk in the front gate. He walks to the front door and the children Peter and Betty open the screen door and come onto the verandah into the morning sun, the milkman gives a pint to each child. They turn and enter the house, inside the house, their mother stands at the table which is set with a tablecloth and cutlery, in a wooden high chair a toddler sits close to the table, the children give their mother the milk bottles and she puts them on the table and removes one of the milk tops. She pours milk for Peter into a china mug, and then into Betty's mug. The children drink their milk, their plates of cereal wait for milk in their place settings in front of them.


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