Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Unimproved Gloucester Cow

This is Blossom; a lousy copy of a painting that's in not-too-good condition anyway at the Edward Jenner Museum in Berkely, Gloucestershire. Blossom is famous because she gave her milkmaid Sarah the cowpox, and Dr Jenner used the infection to vaccinate a little boy against smallpox. However, Blossom is here because she's an example of a breed that didn't get "improved" in the Agricultural Revolution. She's dark brown, with that "finch back", i.e. she's got a white stripe from nose to tail. She doesn't look like much of a cow, does she? Yet Gloucesters were , amongst other things, responsible for supplying the milk for Double Gloucester cheese.