Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Milk Delivery



Today's picture shows a milk delivery cart. The picture was taken in about 1900 in New Orleans. I wonder how long the milk would stay fresh like this, back in the day before refrigeration.

15 comments:

  1. Nice photo.

    I love the old houses in the background, especially the one directly behind the milkman. It is beautiful.

    THe milkman and his horse are both rather dapper-looking.

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  2. Yes, those are some pretty fancy looking houses. I would say that he is a fairly high priced neighborhood. Not only are the houses big, but the yards are big also. Do you see the nice iron fence around them also.
    I would hate to be the last customer on his route, unless you like sour milk. But then maybe he only has a few customers and gets there rather quickly.

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    1. Maybe the last person on the route wants butter?

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  3. I have never seen a horse drawn milk wagon, but I understand that the horses knew their route so well that once the delivery man started his route, the milkman never had to tell the horse to stop or go, the horse knew the route so well he did it by it self

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  4. This is such a cool picture. Looks like the trolley ran down the middle of the street. I Love Trolley's. Back in those days trolleys were everywhere! Changing the subject but looking at the picture I wondered what they did about the horse poop? Am I weird for wondering that? I mean, after a-while I suppose it builds up in the street, did they have some sort of street sweeper that came by at night and cleaned it all up? Sort of like those beach sand sweepers?

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    1. Re the horse poop, when I was a kid horse drawn delivery carts were rapidly on their way out though we still had about half a dozen regulars each week such as the Co-op greengrocer, Co-op milk cart, ice cream carts etc. The horse droppings only lasted out on the street for a few minutes. Every time a horse drawn wagon came round it was watched like a hawk and as soon as one did do its business there was an immediate rush to collect it with shovel and pail by the kids (and some grown-ups) in the street. It was valuable manure for the garden allotments of the local miners and sometimes arguments would start as to just who was there first! Happy days!

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  5. I"m getting ready to post some WWI, Great Depression, and WWII era posters on my Lex Anteinternet blog, and have run across a couple of USDA posters urging people to drink milk. One notes that it's good if you are cold, to warm you up, and another if you are hot, to cool you down.

    Anyone have any idea why the government was encouraging milk drinking in the 30s?

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    1. FDR did some wonderful work during the Depression, including extending electricity to places which had never had it, so milk could be kept fresher for longer periods of time. Since many homes still relied on wells or even got water from nearby streams, it was even more dangerous than the milk! There was a tremendous amount of alcohal consumed, with people getting hurt in machinery at work, etc. I have a cook book put out by Pet Milk Company in 1938, giving ways to add canned milk ("It's irradiated!") to many, many foods.

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  6. Surprising cart for this application.

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  7. Raw milk "turns" in a completely different way from pasteurized milk. You can leave a container of raw cream on the counter, and tomorrow you will have thicker cream, and the next day you will have creme fraiche (Not sure of the spelling, there), and then something very like yogurt. Pasteurizing destroys ALL enzymes - good and bad alike - so milk left out "rots", rather than turning. Sort of the reaction the human body has to taking some antibiotics; they may cure the illness, but they cause problems of their own in the process.

    Back around the time this picture was taken, one of my ancestors sold milk in Baltimore City by walking her cow along her milk route and people would come out with their own containers, and my g-g-grandmother would milk the cow directly into their gallon jugs. That's fresh milk!

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    1. I've lost count of the times I've had to explain about raw/pasteurised milk to posters in cooking forums. It usually starts, "My grandmother made the most marvellous scones (biscuits) and always used sour milk for them. I think I'll have a go."

      It is very surprising the lack of knowledge concerning the subject and how many are truly surprised to learn that if they leave a pint of milk out on the counter they will not end up with sour milk like granny did.

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    2. Not that surprising (in response to Henry's post). People are fairly ignorant as to anything that's food related today, if that topic addresses food at the source, for good or ill.

      We have tons of cooking shows today, but for most people, even those who cook a lot, food just mysteriously shows up at the grocery store with nothing really happening before that.

      On this topic, raw milk, something I'd note is that there aren't that many folks around today, at least in comparison with the past, who know very much about it, and I'd fear that might apply to some who might be selling it today. Seems to me there's been a recent outbreak of some illness due to raw milk back East. I don't note that to criticize anyone, but I've noted that some who advocate such products on a very small scale don't have the background and experience that those in the past did, on such matters.

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    3. Yes there was a recent outbreak in PA from a raw milk dairy. But there were still more illnesses and a couple of deaths from pasteurized milk out in CA a dozen years ago. My problem with the USDA has to do with their use of data. It starts before home refrigeration was common and ends prior to the large outbreak of milk caused disease traced to a pasteurization plant in CA. Hand picked data to support the government side. Wish that there was one honest scientist that worked for our government. Maybe we can get a new Greek to look for one?

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