Flickr Widget

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back in the day: Got milk?

When I was growing up in the 50s, the milkman delivered milk in glass bottles directly to our doorstep.


cbtrust.org


I loved milk, but my brother didn't, so my mother...like many mothers back then...went to great lengths to get him to take his "daily dose."  Flav-R-Straws came out in 1956, when I was eight years old and my brother was three. This ad from a 1957 Life magazine describes the product as an "invention" to get children to drink more milk. The straws had "flavor built inside," so the taste of milk changed when sipped through them. It's odd that the ad shows pink and brown milk, because the straws didn't change the color of milk...just the flavor. I also noticed that the ad shows three flavors: strawberry, chocolate and coffee. I guess my mom thought the coffee straws would stunt our growth. Flav-R-Straws were discontinued in 1961, although I've recently seen a similar product at Walgreens.




After Flav-R-Straws disappeared from the shelves, my mom turned to Nestle Quik to trick my brother into drinking milk. I remember that he liked it so much he sprinkled it on top of vanilla ice cream...but he also put ketchup on chocolate cake, so I'm not sure I'd trust his recommendation.



pinterest.com - Just Gramma

anandtech.com


Bosco was another popular "milk amplifier," but my mother was never bought it for us. It must have been more expensive than Quik. She prided herself on getting the most out of her grocery budget.



mikanet.com


Then there was the dreaded Carnation powdered milk that my mom kept on hand for emergencies. I didn't like the taste of powdered milk at all, so it was always my secret hope that those emergencies would be limited to baking, not breakfast. No matter how my mother justified her little white parental lie, it did not taste just like the milk in a bottle! You can bet the cute flat-topped kid in this 1958 Life magazine ad was thinking about how much fun he and his friends were going to have playing ball after the photo shoot and not what was in that glass.


ebay.com - linhill

Of course, I suppose it could have been worse, like this ad for a special Halloween treat that was called "a wholesome combination"...7-Up in milk. There is nothing about that concoction that sounds remotely good to me. I don't think it ever would have sounded good, even when I was eight...but my brother probably would have loved it.



26 comments:

  1. Great post. I don't remember the flavored straws. I am sure if they had a coffee one, I would have been all over that! I used to just eat Nestle's Quik by the spoonful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I recall, the Flav-R-Straws didn't taste as good as Quik, but they sure were cool!

      Delete
  2. What a fun post! I'm not quite old enough to remember milk in bottles but I do remember milk in cartons, which in my opinion, tastes better and is surely healthier than milk in plastic.
    My Granny used to give us chocolate PDQ made by Ovaltine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd completely forgotten about PDQ. I had a friend whose grandmother gave us that too. :)

      Delete
  3. I remember that on some very cold mornings I'd open the door to find a frozen column of milk rising out of the bottle with the paper cap perched on top. Never failed to entertain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Milkmen started delivering in the early, early morning hours, so if you were the first stop on their route, you'd probably still be sound asleep when your milk arrived. I don't remember that ours ever froze like that, probably because my mother set the alarm to get up in the middle of the night on milk day. She was a little OCD like that...LOL

      I don't know what it was about those paper caps, but I was fascinated with them as a kid. We used to play with them after the bottle was empty.

      Those were the days...when there was no product tampering and that's all we needed to seal a product.

      Delete
  4. Yay, and I live in the town called Carnation where that dreaded milk powder came from! The farm is closed now for cows, but they have changed it into a wonderful camp for children with terminal illnesses. Quite an awesome cause. ('Camp Korey' it is called)

    I grew up in The Netherlands in the late 60's early 70's and don't remember any milk deliveries. I still to this day like to drink the Nesquick powdered chocolate milk though! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does my heart good to know that now there's a camp like that where that powdered milk once originated. :)

      I haven't bought Quik in a long time, but I bet I'd still like it too.

      Delete
  5. Can't say I was around back then, but I was a big fan of Ovaltine as a kid. I'd gotten food poisoning from spoilt milk and the only way my parents could get me to drink it after that was if it had some sort of flavoring. Good times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anything traumatic like your food poisoning made my brother dislike milk. He'd just get in his head that he didn't like something, whether he'd ever tried it or not. I could tell you a horror story about asparagus, but it's pretty disgusting! :)

      Delete
    2. I must add that I also occasionally enjoyed mixing Coke in with my Ovaltine milk. Sounds gross, but it was actually quite good.

      Delete
    3. My daughter is 34 years old, and she still loves the Coke and pickle juice concoction she came up with when she was a kid. Eeeeeeeek! Your Coke and Ovaltine milk doesn't sound a whole lot better...LOL

      Delete
    4. We call that drink a spider, do you? Gross but somehow appealing!

      Delete
    5. I had never heard of a spider, so I looked it up. Here we call that drink a float. We usually make it with ice cream and Coke or root beer.

      Delete
  6. I loved getting to the milk box before anyone else, on those rare occasions when I beat my father to the job. In the summer, there might be orange "push up" ice cream treats in there, too! And we did the flavored straws and Nestle's Quik with great enthusiasm, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still love orange push ups. They were one of my favorite treats as a kid.

      Delete
  7. The flavor straws look cool!

    My Mom and Dad used to buy a huge bulk bag of powdered milk "For the just in case times" *UHGGG* Just in case happened alot more often than it should have. "Mom would always say: It's just like milk" (NO IT'S NOT IT'S GROSS) <--- Thats how I feel.
    Nothing like powdered milk with cheerios.
    =p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do mothers feel compelled to lie about powdered milk? And did I say the same thing to my daughter? I remember that I kept powdered milk for baking emergencies, just like my mom did. OMG...I bet at some time or another I ran out of milk and lied. :)

      Delete
  8. What a fun post! I remember my mom buying us the Strawberry milk flavoring because none of us loved chocolate. Your brother must've been born in '53' same as me. I think the coffee straw is too funny. I don't know abou 7-up in milk, but I do like it in eggnog.
    Hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he was born in 1953, and I was born in 1948. I've never seen a recipe that called for 7-Up in eggnog. I hope you share the recipe during the holiday season. I might just open my mind and try it. :)

      Delete
  9. We're happy to report we still have our milk delivered in glass bottles to our door by the milkman ... and thankfully, it would seem, we're quite partial to the original 'cow's milk' flavour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't think anyone in the world still got home milk delivery. Lucky you!

      Delete
  10. Luis Fernando LinsJanuary 10, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Loved the post! I was born in the late 90s but to this day I still hear stories about the milkman and how it was back then. I remember, though, that back when I was 5 (around '00/'01), my mom would buy me a bunch of these flavoured straws and I just loved them! Too bad I can't seem to find them I stores anymore, my niece would love them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The flavored straws were magic. I couldn't find them when my daughter was a kid, but I should look for them now for my grandsons.

      Delete
  11. I remember a plain, tin box on the back porch (which was all of 5'x5'), where the bottles would be delivered, and the paper tab we pulled. I don't remember mixing the cream back in, I think pasteurization had come to NJ by the time I was old enough to notice.
    I also remember the Good Humor Man on summer afternoons and the doughnut delivery van every Saturday morning. It was a treat when mom let us get something "off the truck."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't get an actual Good Humor truck, but I remember hearing the music from the truck of the "popsicle man" and getting change from my mother to buy something. We didn't have doughnut delivery either. I'm starting to feel as if I had a really deprived childhood!

      Delete