Vintage Glass Milk Bottles


I’ve been carting this big metal box around everywhere I’ve moved for years.

For some years before that, my mother carted it around. It was first delivered to her door in 1966.

My parents had just moved to Silver Spring, Maryland.

The milk man delivered twice a week–early in the morning. My mother regularly used all five bottles for the family.

If she needed butter or cream, she’d just leave a note and he’d bring that, too. It was, she says, very handy. (I can imagine!)

One time when the weather had made him late, she saw the milk man coming from up the street yelling, “I’m coming, I’m coming.”

When he got to the front door, he had little me in his arms.

I’d been outside playing and he’d found me stuck in a snowbank.

He was a super hero milk man, delivering the milk and rescuing wee damsels at the same time.

The milk box always sat by the steps in the carport. After my parents moved away, they unpacked at their new house and discovered to their surprise that the packers had packed up the milk box and bottles along with everything else.

And so she decided to keep them, thinking they might be collectibles some day. Eventually she gave them to me, and I saved them, too. Never dreaming that one day….

….I’d actually put milk in them from my own cow!

P.S. Have NOT figured out what to do about a lid. So far, I’m just wrapping a bit of tin foil over the tops.


  1. CATRAY44 says:

    Now that is awesome! God has a plan and a sense of humor!

  2. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Sorry, I should have said to look at the last item in the list… caps.

  3. Kathy in KY says:

    There is a local dairy here in Lexington KY that uses milk bottles like these. You pay a deposit on the bottle, then take it back to the Co-op to return it. There’s even a little cream on the top of the milk that I buy in the bottles – it’s an organic dairy. My Dad was a milkman, so I very much remember these bottles, and the milk bottle box that Mom kept on the side porch for the milkman to fill, and how we were in charge of bringing it in quickly on summer days so that the milk wouldn’t spoil – and wiping the condensation off of the bottles before putting them into the refrigerator. Thanks for the memories, Suzanne.

  4. Julie says:

    Some things are just worth keeping and lugging around. Precious story! :happyflower:

  5. Kathy says:

    πŸ˜€ When we had dairy goats, we had some bottles somewhat like these. We used corks wrapped in plastic wrap, made a pretty tight seal. When I was selling it, I would put a small cup cake liner, paper kind, around top and secure with a rubber band. We’d wash them then put in the oven to sterilize. Not that you can do that right now, but soon. Will you breed your lovely cow?

  6. Thunja says:

    love this, we had a pass through little window situation for the milk man. He would open up the door which was built into the wall @ about 4′ and we would be able to open another door from inside the kitchen and there would be our milk! The guy had to come all the way up our driveway and around the back of the house for those deliveries. Imagine that in todays world. It just wouldn’t simply and doesn’t happen. We had an egg man who also had honey and best of all we had a vegetable man. He had a flatbed truck that he built shelving on an used tarps that he would roll up so you could see what he had. He even carried Dolly Madison pastries!!When I was around 6yrs old or so on my birthday when all of my friends were over for the party my Mom told us we could each get something from the “vegetable man” to my delight when I looked at the treats available there was a small wrapped present. My Mema had made arrangements to have him deliver me her gift. It was a small heart locket. that of which I still have. and my treat of choice? those little chocolate pink coconut covered delights. Snowballs? thanks for the memeories.

  7. Rose H says:

    Love the box and the bottles! (Are they quart size?) I think it’s wonderful that you’ve kept these and are using them again. 8) My husband used to visit a Great Aunt and Uncle who had a dairy farm in Wales as a child during school holidays, and one of his jobs was to put the lids on all the milk bottles in the dairy before they went out on the ’round’. I’ve just asked him how they did it and he’s told me that they had discs of foil that they placed over the bottle top and then they put a little ‘gizmo’ (technical description!) over it and pressed down hard and it sealed the edges of the foil and imprinted the name of the dairy into the cap. Finding a ‘gizmo’ might be a challenge though! πŸ˜†

  8. Sheila Z says:

    They look like the bottles that a local dairy near me still uses. (sadly they don’t deliver) They have plastic caps. I could send you some. Maybe they would fit.

  9. Johanna says:

    Our milkman was Mr. Silverman. His son Bobby was in my class, and we carpooled to swim lessons in the summer. Not in the milk truck, sad to say.

    When I lived in Chicago in the 1990 there was a dairy that began making deliveries again. I loved the idea, but it was pricey. The milk was delicious!

  10. twoturkey says:

    E-Bay has bottle caps listed. Plus if you google “Place to buy milk bottle caps”….a number of sites come up. I just love your site and have spent many enjoyable minutes checking it out.
    Patiently awaiting “fiddlehead’ season here in this part of Maine.

  11. Ulli says:

    Oh the memories!!! Try this web site (I just did a quick search, but didn’t look at the site). Bet you might find some paper caps.

  12. Mary says:

    We used to get our milk in a bottle with a circular cardboard top with a tab to pull. The milk man would set it on our front porch and in the winter the cold would force the top up. When we went out to get the milk later the cardboard top would be sitting on top of a long piece of ice. I loved getting milk that way because of the cream. The tops of your bottles look small. Perhaps if you measured them we could look around for some to fit.

  13. rebecca says:

    A dairy/creamery near where I live sells milk in bottles very much like yours. Their lids are plastic & snap onto the opening. You might try looking at a place like that if there is one near you. Our local dairy even makes deliveries! How cool is that?
    When I was a child in the 1960’s My dad, who worked at a welding shop made an iron box on a pole for the milkman to set the bottles in. It stuck in the ground right beside the kitchen stoop, so we did not have to even bend over to get the milk.

  14. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    What a great store and wonderful memories! I am so glad you kept those and lugged them around with you all these years!

  15. Karen Anne says:

    I remember the cream on the tops of those bottles. The world has certainly gone downhill. Maybe we can turn it around.

  16. Helen says:

    We had a milk man when I was a kid. And Charles Chips used to deliver, too. Ahh, the good old days…

  17. Linda says:

    What a wonderful story. πŸ™‚
    I remember when the milkman used to leave milk in glass bottles at my grandmother’s house. Brings back happy memories. πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  18. Wyoming Marcia says:

    Suzanne – I see that someone already mentioned but didn’t know what they carried – I ordered and received both 1/2 gal. milk jars (they look just like yours) and several plastic lids that snap on – they work great and I got two that have a pouring spout with a little cap…also very nice people to work with.

  19. Teri says:

    Our milkman was great! He was like a member of our family. There were 7 of us so we went through a lot of milk – about 7 gallons a week! Thought that was alot until my 17 year old. He has always loved milk from little on and would like nothing else. He goes through 4-5 gallons a week by himself and nope, he’s muscular and thin. lol! Ours had Elsie the cow for a mascot and in summer we got lucky and got ice cream once in awhile! That was in southeastern WI

  20. Carol says:

    When I was a kid our milk came in quart bottles with round cardboard lids (as Mary mentioned) that rose up when the cream froze in winter. I don’t believe we had homogenized. We either poured off the cream or shook it. I saw bottles like yours when I was a teen.

  21. CATRAY44 says:

    One of our family legends involves a milkman… my great Aunt Erma had her toe run over by the milk man’s horse drawn wagon, lol. She was a child and must have been excited and stood too close! They buried it in a matchbox under a tree!

  22. rain says:

    the tin foil lady strikes again!!!!! I have only one of these from the olden days-but I remember also the silver box on the back porch we got milk delivered in—oh those were the days……………..rain :sheep:

  23. Tracy says:

    I remember the milkman, he came twice a week, you left your order and money and he left the milk in a metal box on the front porch. I found this ad from our local paper:

    The Reading Eagle, Tuesday October 6, 1970.
    Help Wanted – Male
    Can you make the Clover Farms Team?
    $150 a week potential
    Full Union Benefits
    Be a Super Milkman
    Call 929-3636 for an appointment
    We need people who want to serve others.

    I guess $150 a week wasn’t bad money in 1970? I’m not sure when they stopped doing it, but when I bought my first house in 1988, there was still a milkbox attached to the porch. I wish I’d kept it!

    BTW, I love your site, I can’t stop reading it!

  24. smiledarlin says:

    When I was little, We had a milk delivery in a big 2 gallon plastic container. It had a spigot that was kinda like the new liquid laundry detergent, the push down plunger. Anyways, the metal box sat outside our front door, and my brother decided to hide his new found snake in it. Problem was, it slithered out and was ON TOP of the box when we tried to leave the next morning.. scared us bunch of kids… great memories!
    As far as your cap goes… there is the great Press & Seal- it will fit anything and really seals.

  25. Nancy says:

    As a kid we always had an insulated tin milk box just outside the side door…oh to live that simply again. Oh! And the Viking bread man too! Bringing breads and pastries…yum!

  26. Cate says:

    I, too, remember milk and butter being delivered to the home. It was a great convenience for the typical one-car family when the father took the car to work. You never had to worry about running out of milk. If you did, the neighbors also had theirs delivered and you could always borrow until the next milk delivery.

  27. Barbee' says:

    For one year, 1963, we lived in Mobile, Alabama where the climate is hot and humid. In those days the back door was not locked, and the milk man brought the milk in to the refrigerator, removed the old milk (took it with him), and left the new, fresh milk order. Isn’t that amazing! I’m sure the climate was the reason they didn’t leave it on the stoop.

  28. mamawolf says:

    Oh, the memories this brings back. We also had home delivery complete with metal box. In the winter, as noed above, the milk would start to freeze and push the little paper top up with cream potruding from the bottle. I loved to scrape a bit of the cream off the top resulting in “chastisement” for takin the cream. So delicious that whatever form chastiementttook it was worth it. Thanks for the memories. :eating:

  29. Michele Messier says:

    Just put some plastic wrap with a rubber band at the top. The milk man used to come to our house too in the early 60’s in Santa Clara, California. :wave: :airkiss: :hungry: :happypuppy: :happyflower: :sun: πŸ™‚

  30. MousE says:

    We have a dairy here that uses glass bottles… with plastic caps (I miss the cardboard ones). What is the diameter of the top? I’ll send you some if they fit!

  31. Nancy in Iowa says:

    Oh, wow – there must be a lot of us oldsters! I love the memories you brought back to me, similar to the other commenters. I can almost taste the cream on top!!! :moo:

  32. JustAnotherJenny says:

    I get milk delivered from a milk man. They bottles look pretty much the same size/shape. I could mail you some caps…

  33. Vanessa says:

    We had a Smith Brothers Dairy milk box in the mid/late 1960s. It was predominately used to get the GOATS milk that my sister could drink because she was allergic to cows milk. The rest of the family was strictly forbidden to drink this goats milk because it cost a lot more and we didn’t have much money. In fact, it was seldom that mom would order anything more than the goats milk (it was cheaper to buy the rest at the store, on sale).
    This sure brings back memories. Thank you.
    P.S.–Smith Brothers Dairy is still in business and still has home delivery.

  34. Donna Mc says:

    We have some of these old bottles too. I use them for a vase.

    Would Glad “press n Seal” work on the bottles? I like Press n Seal 100x better than regular saran/glad/whatever plastic wrap. As long as the rim is dry it sticks to it. Otherwise, google milk bottle lids & you might find a source.
    Good luck.

  35. Yankee in NC says:

    Oh, that brought back such memories!
    Sitting on the milk box waiting for the bus to come in the morning in the cold of winters of Upstate NY, carefully carrying the glass bottle to the fridge, the neat paper tops.
    Milk tasted so much better then.

  36. Sandi says:

    I love glass milk bottles. They are so much nicer than the yucky plastic jugs from the store. Here in Colorado, we can still have our milk delivered in glass bottles just like your mom did. We recently canceled our service due to the cost and I miss it!

  37. Jersey Lady says:

    When I was little the milkman came with a horse drawn milk wagon. The horse wore a hat in the summer. It knew the route. Milkman would jump off to take milk to door and horse would walk on to the next house and wait for man to catch up. My dad made a scale model in wood of the wagon complete with little milk bottles and carved the milkman in his white suit too.

  38. whaledancer says:

    Yes, when I was growing up we always had our milk delivered, too. Driftwood Dairy, whose mascot was Drifty the Cow. But our milk came in quart sized bottles in a wire carrying rack that held 6 bottles. The milkman put it inside the back porch. I remember once when we had a protective mama cat in there with her kittens we put a sign on the door “Do not open – vicious attack cat within.” The next morning we heard a yell and a crash, and when we got there the milkman was sucking a bloody hand. We apologized, and pointed out the sign. He said he’d seen it, but thought it was a joke.

    Suzanne, maybe you could buy a bag of Pogs; weren’t they originally milk caps?

  39. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    I love it! The story about the Milkman and the box of milk bottles. What a wonderful life!


  40. Angie says:

    The pictures of your milk in those glass bottles makes me SOOOO… thirsty! What a fantastic story too – as well as all the above stories that yours brought to mind. πŸ™‚

  41. Debbie in PA says:

    Ah, the good old days! We had our milk delivered 2X/week by Rosenberger’s Dairies. Milk, juice, yogurt and ice tea (of course, we made our own). we also had a Stroehman’s Bread man make deliveries too!

    I miss those days…truly….

  42. Karen Anne says:

    Is anybody else old enough to remember getting ice delivered for the icebox?

  43. Paul says:

    A nice story from years gone by. I was once one of those milk delivery guys, though I never rescued a damsel in distress.

    The “global” economy that they have convinced us is somehow good for us requires few stay at home moms, and two workers per household. There’s nobody left at home to bring in the milk bottles. But that story certainly does bring back memories.

  44. Laurie aRusso says:

    I still have a milkman…metal milk box by the back steps!!! My children (17-24) think milk from a plastic jug “tastes funny”. Sadly, they no longer use the paper/foil covers, just plastic. I’d be happy to send you some if you’d like.

  45. mary says:

    :cowsleep: What a neat story! I still live in Silver Spring and vaguely remember the milk man. Very cool that you can now put your own milk in them. You are now a milk lady!! :purpleflower:

  46. mommafox says:

    Karen Anne-
    I sure do remember the ice delivery man. In the summer we waited in anticipation of a big chunk he would give each one of us kids to lick on. Kids don’t know what they are missing!

  47. Margaret says:

    This sure brought back memories. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, we had a milkman who came every week and put 8 cartons of milk in the metal box outside the door. Yes, we had cardboard cartons, not glass. My siblings and I had the job of bringing in the milk and making it fit in the fridge. If we wanted anything different or extra, my mother just left a note on the box. I had almost forgotten about that until I saw your blog today.

  48. Becky says:

    If you EVER figure out the cap problem, please let us know. I’ve started getting raw milk from a nearby farm, and the GIANT gallon “pickle jars” she uses are too big for me to handle comfortably, so I’m transferring it to jars like yours….but the foil lid thing is a drippy nuisance. Thanks!

  49. Skip says:

    you can buy lids on line! Still!!

  50. katherine jenson says:

    :purpleflower: Oh my gosh…I have not seen these types of milk bottles in years. We had milk delivered to our house as well and used bottles like these! Nice heavy glass, durable and wonderful. Who would have thought you would be using them today!!! Amazing. Thanks for bringing back nice memories and the cute story of rescue as well!

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