Milking Machine, “Dangar G.”, pulsator type, made by Dangar Gedye & Malloch Ltd...


Bega Pioneers Museum


Milking Machine, “Dangar G.”, pulsator type, made by Dangar Gedye &
Malloch Ltd.

About this object

The introduction of mechanised milking was an event that ultimately transformed the dairy industry in Australia, but the pace of this change was much slower than would be expected. The first recorded use of milking machines in the Illawarra was in May 1864 although it is possible that they were in use as early as the 1850s. There persists a great deal of contention amongst historians about the exact timing of their entrance into Australia, but the 1864 date can be confirmed by an article published in the Illawarra Mercury newspaper which discussesexperiments made by Joseph Redford, a resident of Kiama, who welcomed others in the district to view his new machine. What is clear from the historical records is that it took many decades after the early experimental use of the machines for them to be widely adopted at dairy farms.

There was multiple reasons for this, the most obvious being the burdenous expense of purchasing and powering the machines. There was also a widespread belief amongst farmers that the new machines would be injurious to the cows and reduce the daily milk output. Other sources of hesitation was the distrust of farmers towards the hygienic standards of the milkers they employed which placed a herd in danger of the spread of disease if the machines were not rigorously and routinely cleaned. The advice offered by the NSW Department of Agriculture was that the machines would need to be drained, cleaned and all components that touched the cows sterilised at least twice a day after each milking.

For more info on the reaction of dairy farmers in New South Wales to the emergence of mechanical milkers, follow the URL <>

The design of these early machines varied to a large extent, utilising various methods to initiate milkflow. The earliest known design is the catheter type which comprised an open teat sphincter that was inserted to force open the sphincter muscle allowing the milk to flow. The tubes used in these early machines were constructed from wood or feather quills. One model of this early design type is attributed to E. A. Hewitt from Groton, Connecticut but another similar design awarded C. Knapp an American patent in 1849.

Another peculiar machine which appeared in the 1860s in England was a vacuum milker that comprised a hand operated diaphragm vacuum device that worked on four teats simultaneously. The milk was invented by L. O. Colvin and was awarded patents in the United States in 1860 and 1863. Criticism made of the machine was that it was injurious to the cow and often drew blood which then entered the milk supply.

By the 1860s experiments with the design of milking machines shifted towards models that utilised pressure or vacuum to initiate the flow of milk. The vacuum or suction milking machine had a pump driven by hand or another source of power. The vacuum simulated the motion of calf milking to induce the flow of milk. This last type was most commonly used in later decades when the machines were more widely adopted.
Engineers from Australia and New Zealand was responsible for many advances in the design of milking machines, with three well known models- the “Jersey” milking machine, the “Dominion” milking machine and the “Austral” milking machine. These models altered the design of the teat cup and rubber tubbing so as to reduce the strain upon the cow during the process of milking.

[Production Notes]

The “Dangar G” milking machine model was sold by Dangar, Gedye & Malloch Ltd. who were based in Young Street, Sydney. The company was initially known as Dangar, Gedye and Co. It was established by the Dangar brothers, including Frederick Holkham Dangar in association with Charles Townshend Gedye (closely related to the Dangar family). As early as 1867 the company was formed and was in 1916 registered as a company in New South Wales.

By at least 1921 the company was located at 16-18 Young Street, Sydney. The managing director of the company, Mr. B. A. Malloch, was also the director of Malloch Ltd. based in the same building. In 1932 the company joined with Malloch and was relisted as Dangar, Gedye & Malloch Ltd. At this time the address of the company changed to 10-14 Young Street, Sydney (Malloch House). In 1961 the company was purchased by Frigrite Ltd.

The company were agents for many important machines in use in the dairy industry of New South Wales. It had a sole NSW agency for cream separators and engines manufactured by R. A. Lister & Co. Ltd. who themselves were established in Dursley England. From at least 1931 the company had an agency to sell the Ridd Milking Machine within N.S.W. The company also produced other utensils and machines in use in other agricultural industries- including shearing tools and machines, windmills, sheep jetters and rabbit exterminators.

[Dangar Gedye & Malloch Ltd. Milking Machines]

By at least 1937 the company were the sole agents for the machines in New South Wales. The machine was first made commercially available in 1935. In May of that year it was exhibited at the company’s Royal Show display stand amongst other items associated with the dairy industry including lighting plants and cream separators manufactured by R. A. Lister.

[History Notes]

In 1864 the operation of a milking machine installed at Kiama was examined in the Illawarra Mercury published on the 10th of May. The machine had been installed by Mr. Joseph Redford, a chemist whose premises was located opposite to the Wesleyan Church. A transcript of this article is provided below.

“Mr. Joseph Redford, of this town, has on sale a curious machine for milking cows. The maker of it has taken out a patent for the invention and the testimony accompanies it from various English farmyards. As to its utility, it is outspoken and highly commendatory of the machine for the use of dairy farmers in general. Mr. Redford will feel happy to permit any one who may drive a cow or two into his yard to try the machine to work it. It is our impression that it will, if tried, give full satisfaction.”

This milking machine was originally used by Ray Heally, a dairy farmer at Brogo who donated the machine to the museum.

[Physical Characteristics]

Pulsator milking machine constructed from a cast iron frame with steel pipes and rubber tubbing. The pulsator functioned to cause the teat cup liners to open and close each second to initiate the flow of milk. It connected the pulsation chamber of the teatcup to the vacuum which regulated airflow. It was an important design feature that prevented any damage to the teat by regulating the continuous action of the vacuum. It was also important in preventing any milk extracted from the teat to enter the air pipelines connected to the vacuum pump. The vacuum pump drew air into an inlet port, compressed the air and ejected it back to the atmosphere.

The frame of the machine was hung in the dairy building with an accompanying engine installed nearby. At the far left of the machine was the milking machine releaser where the milk departed from the machine. Along the length of the cast iron upper frame were three steel pipelines. The two uppermost pipelines were filled with air from the pulsators and milking vaccum. The lower pipeline transferred the milk to the releaser. The middle pipeline had a vacuum gauge that indicated any irregularities in the vacuum flow that may have been caused by leaks in the piping or a dirty regulator.

Attached to the machine are two steel tubes that linked to the rubber tubing and finally the four teat cups. The milker simply placed the cups near the teat end and the vacuum pump brought it down upon the teat. At the connection of one of the steel pipelines hanging down from the machine to the lower pipeline on the frame was an interceptor that had a transparent glass wall casing. It functioned as a trap into the main vacuum line to prevent liquid and dust being sucked into the vacuum pump.

The vacuum regulator had the brand name “Ruakura”. It was located near the centre right of the frame above the machine. It was attached by a rubber tube to the middle air pipeline.


Dangar Gedye & Malloch Ltd.

Place Made

Sydney, Australia

Inscription and Marks

“Dangar D.” [ middle steel pipeline ]

Vacuum Regulator
Inches Mercury [steel plate on side of vacuum regulator]

Object Type

Milking Machine

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

Modern Dairy Machines 17 Nov 2018 12:26 PM,UTC

What a definition of the variety of Milking machines ultimately proven with each pace of the machines with its usage! I am totally convinced to know about the enriched resources of milking machines.

David Aynsley 21 Oct 2017 21:04 PM,UTC

I think under:
Inscription and Marks

It should say "Dangar G", not B.

Thanks for sharing, we've got one just like it, though not as well preserved. Even the same blue backing boards.

This object is from


Joseph Redford

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.


eHive copyright disclaimer

It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. For further information see our Copyright Claims page.