The Nebraska History Museum recently acquired a milk pasteurizer used by the Wright family in Pawnee County, Nebraska. Dean and Opal Wright purchased the pasteurizer from the Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalog in 1952. Their son, Merlin, had polio that year, and they believed he may have contracted it from their farm cows. This was prior to the development of the polio vaccine. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the Inactivated Polio Vaccine in 1952, and nationwide testing began in 1954.
This advertisement from the Fall and Winter 1951-1952 Sears catalog warns costumers of the dangers and raw milk and explains how the pasteurizer works. Milk is placed in a removable bucket and placed inside the aluminum canister. After plugging it in and setting the timer, the milk is heated by a 300-watt ring-type element.
-Laura Mooney, Museum Registrar