Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Way-Back Machine

Time: 2004
Place: Batavia, Illinois



This photo recalls a day in the mid-1950's when every suburban home enjoyed home delivery of milk, eggs and bread.

Oberweis Dairy still makes home deliveries in the northern Illinois area and for years we've enjoyed their wonderful milk in glass bottles.

I took this photo at a convention of milk truck collectors. Yes, there's a collector's group for almost anything you can think of, including old milk delivery trucks. Some of the participants came from as far away as California. In fact, many of the most famous dairies seem to have been from California.

People also collect the glass milk bottle and cardboard bottle caps.

When I was younger we lived about 40 miles west of Chicago in one of those communities of small ranch homes built for returning G.I.'s after World War II. No one had two cars in those days. The housewives were stuck out in the suburbs from Monday to Friday without transportation to the food store and so the business of delivery was very important.

I fondly remember the milkman and the bread man. The bread man was especially important because he brought the packages of cinnamon rolls. What a treat.

Do you remember the milkman? Or did you milk your own cows?


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I remember the milkman and the breadman. The breadman was my favorite, too, because one might expect a treat. He came on Mondays and Thursdays and he just pulled over across the length of the driveway (blocking it entirely sometimes preventing my dad from pulling in since the breadman arrived at about 4 pm). He would honk his horn and my mother would scurry out to the end of the drive to make her selections.

In my grandmother's town, there was also a produce man who brought fresh fruits and vegetables. I liked him just fine, too. :>

Although I remember the milkman, I don't always remember seeing him. Must've come too early for me. The bottles were always tucked just inside the door on the porch out of the morning sun.

Thanks for bringing back some pleasant memories and what a great photo!

Quiltnbee said...

I remember the milkman...and the breadman was the highlight of my childhood week! We bought jelly donuts from him for a nickel a piece. His truck was a wonder of polished wood and magic drawers that pulled out to display incredible goodness in the form of cookies, cakes, and pastries of all kinds...of course, he had bread too...=-) Great post!

Suzanne said...

This guy was SO much fun! He really, really loved his milk truck and enjoyed dressing the part too. When I asked him if he would pose for me he said, "Wait a minute, I've got to grab my milk bottles!"

When we moved closer to the city we have a guy that had a push cart with a bell on it. When we heard the bell we knew the knife sharpening man was walking through the neighborhood.

Mel said...

I grew up in Schaumburg (IL) in the mid 60's to mid 70's. We had a milkman! He delivered the glass bottles of milk to the tin box on our front porch. I now live in the far northwest 'burbs of IL. No milkman unless you order from Oberweis (though we have an Oberweis store closeby).


Timothy Smith said...

My father worked for a dairy in Norwalk, Ohio for a short time. Many, many years later I was no longer living in Ohio and had moved to the San Antonio Texas area. Not long after Dad had died I came across a glass milk bottle from the dairy where he worked. I purchased it, of course. I sometimes wonder how that bottle found it's way to Texas.