The first archaeological evidence of butter making dates from 600 AD with the dasher and barrel type churn. In the 1800's, mechanical churns began to emerge. Electrical motors were added in the mid 1900's. There are plenty of smaller Gem Dandy churns--both manual and electric--on eBay and in antique stores.
Butter is a finicky thing. Cream won't turn to butter until it is slightly acidic and approximately 50 degrees. If it's too cold or too warm, it just froths. I add an aromatic culture to the cream prior to bringing to room temperature to help increase acidity and add flavor.
The butter needs to be rinsed to remove all of the buttermilk or it will go rancid faster. There is still plenty of liquid left in the butter so I work it in smaller batches folding it over on itself in order to remove the buttermilk while rinsing under cold water. 2 1/4 gallons of cream yielded about a pound and a half of butter and 3 quarts of buttermilk.