Cream separator

cream-seperator-in-use cream-seperatorMichelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: I sure hope that you can help me with this industrial item that I found. I have no clue as to what it is or what it was used for. It says “International McCormick Deering” on the side. Any help you can give me on identification, use and price would be greatly appreciated.

A: You have a cream separator, which would have been used on a farm to separate the cream from the milk. International Harvester was a large tractor manufacturer who merged with McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and the Deering Harvester Company in the early 1900s.

You have a McCormick Deering model S-3 in Dubonnet Red, the color name that hit the market in the 1940s. This was the smallest of the separators sold by the company at the time with a capacity of 750 pounds of milk per hour. The cream rises to the top and the milk goes down in to a milk can near the bottom of the separator.

Your machine is hand cranked but there was also an electric model. These were really state of the art for the time and another bonus is that the milk was in contact with only stainless steel throughout the process. Today’s cream separators have not changed much from this design.

As for resale value, if  in working condition you could sell it for $150-$200.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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  1. I have a ohand crank cream seperator that I cannot seem to identify any help would be appreciated. I have pics if you need

  2. I have a McCormick 3-f milk separator that seems to be in pretty good shape with all of the parts. What is it worth and how and where should I try to sell it?


    We have an antique cream Seperator and would like to know what it’s worth. We have no use for it but was told we could get some good money for it.

    • Michelle Staley

      Your cream separator, as all cream separators, are worth the same as the one I appraised $150 – $200, if in good and functional condition. These are not rare items and are still used today on a family farm.

    • Michelle Staley

      There is little to no price variation on cream separators. The only difference would be if it was not functioning in which case the price would be much lower.
      Thank you

  4. I am interesting in buying a vintage working cream separator with all the parts,
    please reply if you want to sell.
    I live in Grande Prairie Albe.rta

  5. when asking about vintage separators do you have ant idea what a 24 karat plated table top unit is worth on todays market ?
    I have one that is in nice shape and was informed that it was the est out of a dozen that sold at action for average 12,000 each.
    that was many years ago and I have not been able to find ant others.
    One year I did see a silver plated one for sale in Vancouver for 3000.00
    Thank you Dan

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