Making cheese involved several steps. First, milk was separated into liquid whey and chunky curds. The whey was drained off to leave the curds. A cheese press squeezed out the last bit of liquid, and the blocks of cheese were rubbed with lard or butter to keep out air while the cheese aged.
Cheese Press, 19th Century, wood. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, New York, F0135.1991.