Wilder makes artificial sunrise: Milks before daylight (1896)

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The mean trick of a Santa Cruz dairyman, who fools the stock by an electric plant

Dairyman Wilder, whose milk-producing establishment is about ten miles north of Santa Cruz, is one of the most ingenious men in all California and has done what no other dairyman ever attempted. Everybody that has ever tried to milk a cow before daylight knows what a job it is.

Wilder makes artificial sunrise Milks before daylight 1896

Artificial sunrise to help on a farm

Bossy is generally of the opinion that there is a time for all things, and firmly objects to being awakened and milked when she thinks that she should be asleep. Many cows will refuse to be milked to the extent of kicking and lying down.

All of these troubles have been Dairyman Wilder’s, and not long ago he determined to overcome them. In fact, it was necessary that he should, as he was often late in getting milk to his customers in Santa Cruz. It cost considerable money, but he has more than made up for the outlay. At present, he has one of the finest individual electric light plants in the State and his cows are as easy to milk as in broad daylight.

When the electric plant was in position and ready for work there were three big arc lights over the center of the yard where the cows slept at night and dozens of others fixed all over the different buildings, the entire lot capable of producing about 10,000 candlepower — enough to make the yard as bright as day. The plant was of the best quality and every thing wa3 tried in the daytime before the surprise was sprung on the cows.

It worked like a charm. The bright rays of the light had no sooner been turned on than the cows commenced to get up. Most of them looked surprised to see the day break so soon, but when the milkman arrived with his pail they seemed to think it was all right and stood perfectly still while being milked. The light also affected the poultry, for the cocks commenced to crow and the hens went around hunting for nests. Ducks, geese, dogs and cats were all affected the same way and the whole barnyard was awake at 2 o’clock in the morning.

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It has not proved a case of the animals getting used to it, for they behave the same way now after the artificial sunrise has been in operation for several months.

Poor beasts, they are in blissful ignorance of Mr Wilder’s shabby trick.

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