Steam was very important for making cheese in the smaller creameries. When the creameries were running, boilers were constantly being fed wood to keep the fire high in order to generate the steam needed to heat the vats during the cheesemaking process.
But steam had other uses, too. Once the cheesemaking process became mechanized, steam was used to run some of the equipment. The best example is of the early power curd mills. This photo shows the first power curd mill for the Beaver Creamery, and possible for the county (circa 1910). The mill was used to cut the slabs of curd into small, uniform pieces, which were then salted and pressed into hoops.