"Cream Separator" 9" x 12" acrylic on mat board. 3-16-2013. A separator is a centrifugal device that separates milk into cream and skimmed milk. Separation was commonly performed on farms in the past. Most farmers milked a few cows, usually by hand, and separated milk. Some of the skimmed milk was consumed while the rest was used to feed calves and pigs. Enough cream was saved to make butter, and the excess was sold.
Today, milk is separated in industrial dairies. Sufficient cream is returned to the skimmed milk before sale.