A few folks have mentioned that my occasional Facebook dissertation updates are amusing, though I suspect the amusement is partially at my own expense. Nevertheless, I thought it fitting to start a series of short posts about stuff I come across. Enjoy.
My dissertation is about an industry that was increasingly controlled by men in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. Not entirely, of course (those exceptions are for another post), but the Ontario dairy industry, with its factories and marketing boards and college curricula, became a profoundly masculine enterprise from about 1860 to the 1930s. These dudes were also very, very white, and they took their work of rationalizing cheese-making very seriously. NO JOKING ALLOWED, unless it was about people of colour or the Irish or women or some combination thereof.
So, when some of these men band together to publish a book about, say, the Cornwall Cheese & Butter Board and its effects on the industry, I have to smile at all the pomp and circumstance. The only thing that could make this better would be if they adopted the term “lacteal product” instead of milk, like one writer for Canada Farmer did in 1864. From Harlow M. Stiles’s Official History of the Cornwall Cheese and Butter Board (1919), p. 11:
“[The Cornwall Cheese and Butter Board] has grown from a lusty infant organization of a few factories and a handful of patrons to a strong and vigorous manhood with a present quota of about forty factories and over two thousand patrons. Its chief food as an infant, like other infants, was milk, but unlike other infants its chief diet still is and will continue to be milk.”
Dairy Industry = Vigorous Manhood. Don’t forget it.