The Trautvetter Milk Stool

I have memories of Grandma Neill’s 3-legged milk stool. The seat was always a little tilted and it looked like anyone sitting on it would slide right off. That might have been the result of an unlevel barn floor or uneven legs on the stool. I’m still not certain which.

What I am certain of is that Grandma’s milk stool was not the one patented by her father’s first cousin in 1937. It was a humdinger. From the schematic it does not look like any milk stool I’ve ever seen. The intent of Trautvetter’s apparatus was that the bucket would be kept in place while milking and not spill–held down partially by the contraption and the weight of the milker. There would be no errant cow kicking over a milker using a Trautvetter milk stool. The patent application states (in part):

the bucket…can be held firmly during the milking period so as to prevent the accidental tilting over of such pail, bucket or the like and thus having its contents become contaminated with the filth of the barn yard or having the pail upset and the milk therein lost.


Trautvetter’s application goes on to extol several other virtues of his contraption.

This patent image was located on Google Patents (see the PDF of Trautvetter’s application to discover more about milk stool construction). The digital images of these patents (from the United States Patent Office) can be searched using a full text search. Complete applications can be downloaded as PDF files. Researchers with more common last names may wish to add additional search terms such as:

  • residential information
  • type of invention, if known

Those who have never used the site may wish to read a few patents first to get an idea of what information is typically contained in these patents–that may help with the determination of search terms. It may be helpful to search the site again even if one has searched it years ago. Trautvetter has patented at least one other item, but I do not remember locating the milk stool in my original searches for him.

I’m glad Grandma never had a milk stool like the one her father’s cousin made. Somehow I just can’t picture her sitting on a milk stool like this one.

But I’ll milk the patent site for all that I can.



4 thoughts on “The Trautvetter Milk Stool

  1. How very interesting. I have a patent design of a gate over a cattle guard that my mother’s ( biological ) father invented. Waiting on DNA testing to see if she is the daughter. And if I am the granddaughter. Still have some detective work ahead of me .

  2. My two great uncles have a patent for a ‘corn husking implement”. It was patented in 1915. I would love to have found one of the devices but doubt that any exist.

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