Some links, history, general information and fun about Milk, Milkmen, Milk Floats and Milk Deliveries.
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There are all kinds of websites out there about milk, milkmen and milk deliveries. The following offer just a few diversions…
Milk Bottle Tops: remember those Blue Peter days of collecting for their annual campaign? These days we can at least recycle the foil tops in our council provided boxes or at the recycling point. Do you know of any organisation that collects these – we’d love to know – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Milk Bottle News website includes a surprisingly active swaps page, a list of milk adverts (remember Humphreys?), and many other things that you did not know were available.
Milk Floats: yes, there is a website all about Milk Floats! Why are they usually electric? Mostly because they are quieter and economical to use. As to why they’re called “floats”, we don’t really know (tell us if you do, please)
Some History: before milk bottles, milkmen filled the customers’ jugs. In 1880 milk bottles were first produced and delivered by horse-drawn carts several times a day. These first bottles used a porcelain stopper top held on by wire.
When the pasteurisation process for milk was developed in 1894, the milk could then be sterilised and safely stored for longer periods, allowing for a once daily delivery.
1920 saw the first advertisements on milk bottles, etched onto the glass using a sand-blasting technique. This largely disappeared with the introduction of infrared bottle scanners, designed to check cleanliness, in the early 1990s.
In some locations, silver, red, blue or yellow aluminium tops on today’s bottles indicate the fat content. Unpasteurised is green-topped. Other dairies use other color designations. Bottles may be marked or stamped with the name of the dairy, and some dairies also use refillable plastic bottles, as well as plastic bottle tops (which I believe have become a new source of fund-raising).
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