Category Archives: livestock

85 Year Anniversary: Nellie’s Got Milk!

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On February 18, 2015 you may say, “When cows fly. . .” instead of

the usual expression which includes another livestock animal- pigs.

Why?  Because Elm Farm Ollie,  a Guernsey  cow engaged  in  an

experiment in seeing how a cow would do up in an airplane while

she was being milked.

 

Nellie Jay was her farm name and she became famous and known as,

“Elm Farm Ollie” while she traveled on a trip of 72 miles on the

airplane.

 

It left Bismarck, Missouri to arrive at St. Louis, Missouri.

Later, her special (show) nickname became, “Sky Queen.”

(Not to be mixed up with the “Dancing Queen.”)

 

On February 18 of 1930,  scientists and a publicity stunt combined

in efforts to discover if placing a cow up on an airplane and milking

her would change her ability to produce milk.  Nellie was already

celebrated among neighboring farms in Bismarck, Missouri. She

was known to produce enough milk to be milked three times daily.

 

Nellie Jay’s productivity added up to 24 quarts a day!

 

On Nellie Jay’s adventure of her lifetime, not only did she have to

endure flying, but a stranger named Elsworth W. Bunce was her

‘guest milker.’

 

Elsworth was to become renowned as the,

“First man who ever milked a cow mid-flight.”

 

Another incredulous detail of this flying cow story were the results.

She was able to be milked efficiently, the milk was sealed in paper

cartons, parachuted down to earth and she had a famous person

drink her milk:  Charles Lindbergh.

 

Rumor has it that Lindbergh reportedly received and drank a glass

of Elm Farm Ollie’s air-dropped milk.

 

There are some really quaint and precious photographs of this

patient, easygoing cow. She is giving rides to little children wearing

bonnets while riding on her back.There may even be a cowboy hat

on one of the children.

 

Also, there is a sweet painting of Nellie Jay, as her Elm Farm owners

affectionately called her. The painting is labeled as, “Elm Farm Ollie,”

which was painted by E. D. Thalinger. (No, that is NOT  J.D. Salinger,

the author pronounced by someone with a lisp!)

 

“Time Magazine” wrote two articles about air shows late that

winter of 1930. But there is no mention any cows taking airplane

flights.

 

The dates were coincidentally close to the time of the ‘trail blazing

event:’  February 24, 1930 and March 3, 1930.

 

What could have possibly been more exciting or entertaining for

“Time Magazine” to write about, if not the amazing Nellie Jay,

otherwise known as Elm Farm Ollie or Sky Queen?

 

Do you think they should use this somehow in the “Got Milk”

campaign?

Had you ever heard of this hilarious scientific dairy story?

 

 

Although the facts were collected from articles in Wikipedia

and online, this is an original essay by reocochran (2/16/15).