History of milk bottle

 

It is not clear when the first milk bottles came into use. However, the New York Dairy Company is credited with having the first factory that produced milk bottles, and the first patents for a milk container is held by the Lester Milk Jar on January 29, 1878 - US patent number 199837, filed on September 22, 1877). There are many other similar milk containers from around this period, including the Mackworh Pure Jersey Cream crockery type jar, the Manorfield Stock Farm, the Manor, the Pa glass wide mouth jar, and the Tuthill's Dairy Unionville, NY.

Lewis P. Whiteman holds the first patent for a glass milk bottle with a small glass lid and a tin clip (US patent number 225,900, filed on January 31, 1880). The next earliest patent is for a milk bottle with a dome type tin cap and was granted September 24, 1884 to Whitemen's brother, Abram V. Whiteman (US patent number 305,554, filed on January 31, 1880). This bottle has been found with cream line marks and is very valuable. The Whiteman brothers produced milk bottles based on these specifications at the Warren Glass Works Company in Cumberland, Maryland and sold them through their New York sales office.

The Original Thatcher is one of the most desirable milk bottles for collectors. The patent for the glass dome lid is dated April 27, 1886. There are several variations of this early milk bottle and many reproductions. During this time period, many types of bottles were being used to hold and distribute milk. These include a pop bottle type with a wire clamp, used by the Chicago Sterilized Milk Company, Sweet Clover, and others. Fruit jars were also used, but only the Cohansey Glass Manufacturing plant made them with dairy names embossed on them.The commonsense milk bottle with the first cap seat was developed as an economical means for sealing a reusable milk bottle by the glass bottle manufacturer Thatcher Manufacturing Company around 1900. Most bottles produced after this time have a cap seat.

Milk bottles before the 1930s were round. In the 1940s, a square squat bottle become the more popular style. Milk bottles since the 1930s have used pyroglaze or ACL (Applied Color Label) to identify the bottles. Before the 1930s, names were embossed on milk bottles using a slug plate. The name was impressed on the slug plate, then the plate was inserted into the mold used to make the bottle - the result was the embossed name on the bottle. By the 1960s, glass bottles had largely been replaced with paper cartons.

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 also be marked or stamped with the name of the dairy.

Modern dairies may also use refillable plastic bottles, as well as plastic bottle tops.

In the United Kingdom, milk sold to the door may still be in Imperial pints (20 fluid ounces), though it is also acceptable to sell in metric measure. Often, in supermarkets they are sold in pints but labelled with their metric equivalent (568ml). Quantities larger than a pint are generally sold in metric units or multiples of a pint.

With lesser milk consumption, milk in Hong Kong are sold in both glass and plastic bottles.

Orange juice in beverage bottles is also sold in doorstep deliveries in the same style of bottle used for milk. Typically these have an orange top.

In some countries, it is common to buy milk in a milk bag instead.