On the 18th of February 1930, Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane. She flew 72 miles to the 1930 International Aircraft Exposition at St. Louis. Elm Farm Ollie was a very productive dairy cow and required three daily milkings. As a result, that same day she became the first cow to be milked in flight. Elsworth W. Bunce milked her, making him the first man to milk a cow mid-flight.
The milk was carefully sealed into paper cartons which were parachuted to spectators below, apparently including Charles Lindbergh.
This event is now celebrated every year at the Mustard Museum. Curator Barry Levenson even wrote an opera about the Guernsey cow who flew through the skies.
Thus, “Bovine Cantata in B flat,” part of his lyric opera, Madame Butterfat. It tells the tale of one Farmer Brown, whose farm was about to go under. A couple of shifty salesmen showed up at his door and offered him money for Elm Farm Ollie so that they could fly her in a plane and milk her. Farmer Brown loved the cow but had no choice; he sold her. The men planned to sell the milk at a hefty markup, but as the song says, Ollie went on to say — in the song, the cow can talk — that if the men didn’t give the milk to the needy, “I’ll make the biggest cow pie that you have ever seen / So follow well my orders or I will be obscene.”
Sensibly, they complied.
And on the 18th of February 2011, the following photographs were taken of one-of-a-kind moments all over the world:
And here are the photographers, milking it for all they can:
Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:
- Take a photograph on a Saturday
- Upload the photograph
- Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location
We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!