At one time, the "milk train" was an important member of the food chain supplying those folks living in large cities with milk, butter, and cheese from the outlying farming communities. Before World War II and the prevalence of electricity in rural areas, farmers would need to make daily runs to the nearby railroad station in order to transport their fresh milk, which was carried in cans, to the creameries in the big urban areas for processing. Often, a group of farmers far removed from a township would setup collection points, whereby the milk cans would be gathered and taken to a dairy depot of sorts. From here, wagons would be loaded up with the large group of milk cans and taken to the train station, where they would be unloaded on one if its trackside platforms.
Upon the milk trains arrival at the station, railroad crews would first unload the previous day's empty milk cans to be returned to the farmers and then take on the filled cans. Depending on the length of the train ride, iced reefer cars were often employed to handle the milk loads to the city. After electrically powered refrigeration became a possibility for the local farmer, it was not as time sensitive of a commodity any longer, and while milk cans were still collected locally, transportation to the dairy by truck on a slower schedule would take the place of these daily milk trains by the early 1950s.
Our new Dairy Transfer Stand kit is based on these rural milk can collection points and includes two platforms. The smaller platform represents an individual farm's milk can stand that may have been situated on its acreage nearest the county road. From here, the milk cans would be picked up by a cooperative that would collect the milk cans from other area farmers and haul them by wagon to a main dairy hub, often controlled by the largest dairy farm in the region. This latter facility is represented by the second larger platform with office in Kit No. 730 and carries the sponsorship and signage of the Behrenwald Farms Dairy, a real Michigan based family owned dairy farm still in operation today.
Precision cut from quality milled basswoods and 3-ply aircraft grade birch plywood, the Dairy Transfer Kit incorporates all the attributes customers are used to enjoying in an American Model Builders LASERkit: tab and slotted wall and roof assembly; peel and stick windows, doors, and trim; simulated metal roofing; both "cracked" and solid office window glazing; platform ladders; full color signage with large cow-shaped rooftop billboard; and an assortment of resin cast parts depicting milk cans, salt sacks, a hand truck, an other details for accessorizing the larger platform/office structure. The finished structures measure 1.375" square x 0.5" tall and 2.625" long x 3.5" deep x 2.75" high to peek of roof respectively.