Who Was Anna Baldwin?

Katy Clemmans/Moment/Getty Images

Anna Baldwin was the inventor of a machine that automatically milked cows, replacing hand milking. The machine used a large rubber pump that was attached to the cow’s utter, and a pump lever was used to pull the milk out of the utter and into an adjacent bucket.

Baldwin patented the invention in 1879, making it one of the earliest American patents. Unfortunately, her invention did not hold up in the long run. The continuous suction on the cow’s udder caused the cow to kick due to pain in the mammary tissue. However, Baldwin’s invention did influence similar machines that were invented decades later.