In the early 1900s, Norman John Daysh invented the vacuum-pump milking machine that went on to revolutionise the dairy industry.
And it all began on the kitchen table of his father’s North Island farm.
He said his grandfather experimented with early machines on a cow called Daisy in the Wairarapa farmhouse kitchen.
“People had been trying to find a milking machine for 50 years or so, including Edison the great inventor in America, but none of them were actual dairy farmers.
“People had been experimenting with all sorts of things that sounded quite painful for the cow, including rollers and copper pipes inserted into the teats.
“My grandfather’s was successful because he was a dairy farmer, and he knew how sensitive cows were, and how to extract milk in a way which was comfortable to the cow and efficient for the workers, which was revolutionary really.”
Norman Daysh secured more than 20 patents for his machine before travelling from Wairarapa to New York in 1913 in the hopes of finding a global company interested in helping him perfect the machine he had designed.
In New York, the DeLaval company recognised the potential of Norman’s machine and his innovative spirit. Together they fine-tuned the machine, and then in 1917, launched it to the world.
DeLaval CEO Joakim Rosengren, paid tribute from the company’s headquarters in Sweden: “Norman John Daysh was truly a visionary innovator. A truly remarkable man who was basing his innovation on vision and most importantly – animal welfare. These are values that the company is still based on. We still continue to thrive on and innovate for dairy farmers around the world.”
You can hear John Daysh talk about his grandfather here.