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Milk Bottle Collections

World War II Milk Bottles

This is a group of milk bottles with war slogans.  These bottles first appeared during WWII.  They promoted victory, patriotism, food conservation, buying war bonds and stamps and sometimes revenge.  A true war bottle will have a manufacture date during WWII from about 1942-1945.  However these slogans do appear after these years and could be called patriotic bottles.  Some war slogan bottles will be made during the Korean war from 1950-1953.  Interestingly, the designs that promoted the sale of war bonds were approved by the United States Treasury Department.  Owens-Illinois advertised in 1943 that there were 11 million milk bottles produced that promoted the sale of war bonds.  One wonders where they all went to.  The milk bottles that promoted food conservation were designed in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture. 

The first milk bottle on the left proclaims; There is no substitute for Liberty, there is no substitute for milk with a picture of the Statue of Liberty.  The second milk bottle reads; The United States is a sound investment, buy war bonds and stamps and again has a picture of the Statue of Liberty.  The third milk bottle urges home makers to plan meals to avoid waste and to save left overs.  The last milk bottle says; All out for victory drink milk.

Milk bottles left to right:
Diamond Dairy, quart, Oakland, California, Owens-Illinois, 1944
Baywood Farm Dairy, quart, Hollister, California, Owens-Illinois, 1944
Chico Store Bottle, pint, Chico, California, Owens-Illinois, 1945
Royal Milk Creamery, quart, Salinas, Castroville, Monterey Peninsula, Watsonville, California, Owens-Illinois, 1943

Golden State Milk Bottles

Golden State was a large milk bottler in California with creameries in numerous cities.  At one point they handled almost a third of the milk sold in California.  They were the largest milk products manufacturing organization west of the Rockies.  Their fleet of delivery trucks was the largest in California.  The company got its start in the northern California town of Ferndale in 1905 manufacturing butter.  By 1910 the headquarters had been moved to San Francisco and the name California Central Creameries was adopted in 1912.  Golden State was the product brand name and in 1923 the company name was changed to Golden State Milk Products Company.  In 1954 Golden State became part of Foremost Dairies. 

Most Golden State milk bottles do not refer to a city.  The first bottle in the top row is a Golden State Cream Top store bottle.  Golden State sold a Golden Guernsey milk that they advertised came in cream top milk bottles.  The second bottle is a newer square Cream Top.  This milk bottle has the slogan "You strike it Rich in Golden State" and a cartoon gold miner that the company adopted in later years.  The third, embossed milk bottle is one of the few Golden State bottles that list a city.  This one is from Golden State Milk Co. in Vallejo, California.  There were also Golden State milk bottles from Fresno, California.  The fourth bottle is a half pint labeled as Golden State Brand Dairy Products.    The fifth, embossed half pint bottle is an earlier Golden State Company, LTD. milk bottle.  The sixth milk bottle is also a Golden State Brand Dairy Products bottle with a Dacro style lip.  This type of capping system evolved from the crown top and covered the pouring lip.  On conventional milk bottles Golden State advertised that they were double capped with the plug cap and a hood covering the pouring lip.  The last milk bottle on the top row is an early Golden State Company, LTD Cream Top.  Golden State also used Blake-Hart milk bottles and beautiful pyroglazed wide mouth gallon milk bottles.

The bottom row of bottles displays the reverse side of several Golden State milk bottles.  Golden State put a series of slogans on the backs of their bottles.  From left to right:

For extra pep at work or play DRINK GOLDEN STATE MILK
Drink your way to Health WITH GOLDEN STATE MILK
Healthful Beauty comes from within DRINK GOLDEN STATE MILK
Don't be old at Forty DRINK MILK
Preserve your Health and figure too WITH GOLDEN STATE MILK
Drink More Milk IT'S GOOD FOR YOU

We have seen four other slogans not pictured here:

Some people are old at Forty OTHERS DRINK MILK
Nothing takes the place of fresh Milk FOR FINE COOKING
Keep Youthful DRINK GOLDEN STATE MILK
A Quart a Day THE DOCTORS SAY

Golden State operated or was associated with dairies and creameries in many California cities.  Below is a list of cities we have found that had Golden State creameries.  At one time Golden State advertised that no cow producing milk for Golden State was more than 40 miles from one of their creameries.

Arcata Guadalupe Modesto Riverside Stockton
Bakersfield Hayward Monterey Roseville Susanville
Benicia Hollister Napa Sacramento Taylorsville
Carmel Hughson Nevada City Salinas Tracy
Concord King City Newman San Diego Vacaville
Corona La Verne Oakland San Francisco Vallejo
El Centro Lemoore Orick San Jose Van Nuys
El Monte Livermore Orland San Luis Obispo Venice
Eureka Lodi Oroville San Mateo Ventura
Ferndale Lompoc Oxnard San Pedro Visalia
Fort Bragg Long Beach Palo Alto San Rafael West Los Angeles
Fortuna Los Angeles Paso Robles Santa Barbara Watsonville
Fresno Los Banos Red Bluff Santa Cruz Willows
Gilroy Menlo Park Redding Santa Maria Woodland
Glendale Merced Richmond Santa Rosa Yuba City
Gridley

The Golden State Company, LTD. even had its own dairy herd in the 1930's.  The ranch was in Oakley, California and they milked around 400 Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cows.  The ranch was sold in June of 1938.

Golden State's business was not limited to California however.  They also had business operations and distributors in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas, Alabama, Massachusetts and New York.  As early as 1926 they reported distributing butter to 38 foreign countries, most of them bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Milk bottles top row left to right:
Golden State, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1946
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1948
Golden State Milk Co., half pint, Vallejo, California, Illinois Pacific Glass Co., 1923
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, half pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1948
Golden State Company, LTD., half pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1933
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1945
Golden State Company, LTD., quart, California, Illinois Pacific Glass Co., 1921
 
Milk bottles bottom row left to right:
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1942
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1939
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, half pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1941
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, half pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1947
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1942
Golden State Brand Dairy Products, quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1944

Bordens Milk Bottles

Here is a selection of Borden's milk bottles.  Gail Borden was credited with inventing condensed milk in the mid-1800's.  An article was published in the July 2, 1853 Scientific American describing his method and he was granted a patent on August 19, 1856.  He supplied his milk to the Union Army during the civil war.  Early in its history the company was based in New York and was called the New York Condensed Milk Company.  In California, Borden's got its start by purchasing the Dairy Delivery Company of San Francisco in the late 1920's and began selling fresh, bottled milk in the state.  Elsie the cow was the representative for Borden's milk.  The character was introduced in print and radio adds in the late 1930's but an actual live cow was introduced at the 1939 World's Fair.

The first four bottles on the top left are all labeled Property of Borden's Condensed Milk Co. and have the eagle logo.   The quart has no cap seat but the other three do.  The second bottle is a tall pint.  It is the same volume as the third bottle but was designed to be the same height as the quart bottle so the same machine could fill both sizes.  The fifth bottle in the top row is a California quarter pint Borden's Dairy Delivery Co. milk bottle.  Most California Borden's bottles were labeled this way with no city reference.  Some of the early bottles from San Francisco will have the city and Borden's Dairy Delivery Co. on the same bottle.  The sixth half pint bottle is a little newer California milk bottle with Elsie the cow but is still labeled Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., a unit of the Borden Co.  The seventh bottle is a fairly modern pint.  It has a picture of Elsie and is labeled only Borden Co.  The eighth bottle in the top row is an Oakland, California Borden's Farm Products bottle.  It is one of the few Borden's milk bottles from California that refer to a city.  The last bottle on the top row is not a California bottle but still is a nice gallon size with Elsie.

Starting off the bottom row on the left is a square Cream Top with Elsie the cow.  This bottle is only labeled Borden Co.  The second milk bottle in the bottom row is a Borden's Dairy Delivery Co quart Cream Top.  The third bottle is a quart from Borden's Enterprise Dairy, which was located in Santa Barbara, California.  It was one of the few Borden's creameries in California to use its own bottle.  The fourth and fifth bottles are a quart and half pint from Borden's Capital Dairy Co., which was located in Sacramento, California.  The sixth bottle in the bottom row is a Borden's Dairy Delivery Co bottle with a nice picture of Elsie on the back.  The last two bottles in the bottom row are two Borden's Dairy Delivery Co. Cream Tops in red and brown.  These are the colors of most California Borden's bottles.  The brown is almost a gold and was often referred to as Borden's brown.

Milk bottles top row left to right:
Borden's Condensed Milk Co., quart, Thatcher Manufacturing Co., 1918
Borden's Condensed Milk Co., tall pint, maker & date unknown 
Borden's Condensed Milk Co., pint, Thatcher Manufacturing Co., 1915
Borden's Condensed Milk Co., half pint, maker & date unknown
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., quarter pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1944
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., half pint, California, Owens-Illinois, 1950
Borden Co., pint, California, Liberty Glass Co., 1971
Borden's Farm Products, quart, Oakland, California, Owens-Illinois, 1932
Borden's, gallon, location unknown, Knox Glass Co., 1965

Milk bottles bottom row left to right:
Borden Co., quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1949
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1943
Borden's Enterprise Dairy, quart, Santa Barbara, California, Owens-Illinois, 1945
Borden's Capital Dairy Co., quart, Sacramento, California, Owens-Illinois, 1945
Borden's Capital Dairy Co., half pint, Sacramento, California, Owens-Illinois, 1939
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., quart, California, Universal Glass Products Co., date unknown
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1943
Borden's Dairy Delivery Co., quart, California, Owens-Illinois, 1945

Certified Milk bottles

These milk bottles are from certified dairies that operated in California.  Certified milk was the highest quality milk and the dairies that produced it were the very best.  Certified milk got its start in the medical profession as doctors realized that infants needed the very best milk.  The first certified milk was produced in New Jersey in 1893,  California's first certified milk was produced in the early 1900's.  California certified milk was some of the best in the nation.  In a 1921 contest of certified dairies from across the United States, dairies from California took first and third place.  In the 1922 contest, California dairies took the first and second places and had two more dairies in the top ten.  No doubt California's mild weather made it easier to keep the cows clean and produce quality milk.

Dairies producing certified milk came under the jurisdiction of a milk commission appointed by the county medical society.  The cows were regularly examined by a veterinarian and tested for disease, the most important of which was tuberculosis.  A negative tuberculosis test was required every six months on every cow.  The employees on the dairies also were subject to regular medical exams to make sure they had no communicable diseases.  These dairies were held to the strictest of sanitary requirements and the milk had a maximum number of bacteria allowed.  There were two inspections of the facilities every month as well as two bacteria counts and two chemical test on the milk every month.  There were also rules on how fast the milk had to be cooled, how soon it was to be delivered and often there was a minimum fat test that the milk had to meet.  The preparation of the cow prior to milking was so stringent that where as a milker on a regular dairy could milk 35 cows each day on a certified dairy he could only milk 25 cows.  Most dairies did not even attempt to meet these standards.  The dairies that did produce certified milk were without a doubt the most progressive.

The first bottle on the left above is from Sleepy Hollow Certified Milk Company.  We believe this dairy started in business in 1903 and started producing certified milk around 1910.  The dairy was started by Richard Hotaling on land his father, Anson Hotaling, purchased in 1887 located in San Anselmo, California.  Anson P. Hotaling, a wealthy San Franciscan, was the west coast agent for J. H. Cutter whiskey.  His son Richard imported some of the best Holstein cows from Holland to start the dairy and hired P. H. Davis to manage the herd.  The dairy was well managed and the cows well cared for.  In June of 1904, a bulletin published by the San Francisco Health Department reported Sleepy Hollow Dairy was one of only two dairies that received a favorable rating out of 126 that were inspected.  Hotaling advertised in 1906 that his cows were the Greatest Milk Producing Cattle in the World.  However Richard Hotaling soon tired of the dairy business and returned to San Francisco. 

He leased his ranch to Sigmund Herzog who took over the dairy operation.  P. H. Davis remained on as manager of the herd.  Advertisements in 1908 reflected this change.  Interestingly Sleepy Hollow is usually thought of as a Holstein herd but Herzog's advertisements in 1908 also offered Jersey cows and heifers for sale.  The dairy was originally located in San Anselmo but moved to Petaluma around 1930.  This dairy produced certified milk until 1939.  Sleepy Hollow was one of the first dairies to use milking machines.  The dairy was fairly large in the early 1900's, milking around 250 cows.  This required a large number of people to milk by hand.  Due to the shortage of labor caused by World War I, Sleepy Hollow had to request permission from the San Francisco Milk Commission to use milking machines.  The commission feared that the milk would be higher in bacteria than milk harvested by hand but their fears turned out to be unfounded.

The second bottle from the left is from Brown's Guernsey Dairy.  This dairy originally was started by James Brown as the Brown Bulb Ranch.  Their main agricultural product was flower bulbs, especially begonias.  Supposedly they started in the dairy business as a way to generate manure for the flowers.  The first year they produced certified milk was 1925 and the dairy was listed as being in Santa Cruz.  In 1926 it was still called the Brown Bulb Ranch but now the town was listed as Capitola.  We have seen milk caps from the Brown Bulb Ranch (picture) but never a milk bottle.  From 1927 to 1930 the name changed to Brown's Certified Guernsey Dairy and the location remained in Capitola.  After 1930 the dairy ceased to produce certified milk but switched to guaranteed milk.  Guaranteed milk was still a high quality milk but it was not under the inspection of a medical commission but rather inspected by the Health Department.  Click here for a picture of a later Brown's guaranteed milk bottle.  They used the slogan Moo Cow to promote their milk.  Another interesting milk bottle from this dairy was used specifically on Southern Pacific Railroad dining cars (picture).  This half pint milk bottle is embossed FROM BROWN RANCH   CAPITOLA   WHOLE GUERNSEY MILK SPECIAL FOR S. P. CO. DINING CARS.  This bottle dates prior to 1930 during the period that the Browns were producing certified milk.  The railroad obviously demanded high quality milk to be served on their dining cars.  The dairy remained in business until the 1940's.

The third milk bottle is from Arden Dairy of El Monte.  Arden Dairy was started in 1904 by Edward Robbins.  From our research this was the first certified milk dairy in California and probably west of the Rocky mountains.  They started producing certified milk in January of 1908.  They offered their certified milk for sale at 12 cents per quart which was the lowest price for certified milk in the Unites States.  They were still producing certified milk in 1943 when our records end.  The dairy remained in business until December of 1952.  Arden Dairy was a large dairy.  In 1921 they were milking 250 cows and by the 1940's they had expanded considerably.  This bottle still has the metal ring that held on the hood seal to cover the lip of the milk bottle.  Since sanitation was so important with certified milk it was common for certified dairies to use hood seals or Dacro caps to protect the lip of the milk bottle.


The last milk bottle is from Burroughs Brothers of Knightsen.  Their dairy also went by the name of Walnut Grove Farm.  They were producing certified milk by 1919 and continued until 1939.  They were milking a little over 100 cows in the early 1920's.  Their pyroglazed milk bottles are some of the most common California milk bottles today (picture).  They must have delivered quite a bit of milk.

Other California dairies that produced certified milk and the years they produced it were:

Adohr Stock Farm (Adamson Corporation), Van Nuys, Reseda, Tarzana, 1918-48
Alta-Dena, City of Industry, 1953-
American Dairy, Oakdale, October, 1912- August, 1913                                          
Arden Certified Dairy No.2 (Western Dairy Products), National City, San Diego, Palm City, 1930-42
Armstrong Dairy, Beaumont, 1937-41
Barbara B. Dairy, El Monte, 1928-30
Bear Valley Dairy, Olema, 1925-28
Blackburn Jersey Dairy, San Fernando, 1926-27
Brookside Certified Dairy, Redlands, 1925
Burr Creamery Company, Los Angeles, 1926
Cold Springs Certified Dairy, Lamanada Park, Pasadena, 1916-24
De Vries Certified Dairy, Colton, 1926-27
Dixon Certified Milk Farm (Hutton Bros.), Dixon, 1911-16
Esmeralda Guernsey Dairy, San Diego, National City, 1925-29
Gerber Certified Dairy, Redlands, Highland, 1925-32, 1936
Hollow Hill Farm, Colton, 1919-21
Home Dairy, Palo Alto, 1925-29
Ideal Dairy, San Anselmo, 1909-10
Ideal Certified Dairy until 1931 then Roger Jessup's Certified Farm, Burbank, Glendale, 1921-43+
Linwood Farm Dairy, Santa Cruz, approx 1915
Los Cerritos Certified Dairy, Long Beach, 1921-24
Meadow Lark Dairy, Pleasanton, 1925-41
Palo Alto Stock Farm (Stanford), Palo Alto, approx 1915-16
Peacock Dairy, Bixler, December, 1912- July, 1913
Rocky Hill Stock Farm, Exeter, 1932-36
San Ramon Dairy, Walnut Creek, 1913-16
Santa Monica Dairy Company until 1931 then Edgemar Farms, Santa Monica, Venice, 1926-43+
H.R. Timm's Certified Dairy until 1921 then Doyle & Davey until 1925 then Doyle Certified Dairy,
    Dixon, 1909-10, 1913-16, 1918-34
Toteco Stock Farm, Tulare, 1922-24
University of California, Berkeley, 1912-16, 1918-22
Walnut Grove Dairy, Santa Clara, San Jose, Oakland, 1909, 1913-16, 1918-19, 1920-24
Warren Model Dairy, Palo Alto, 1909
Windmere Guernsey Stock Farm, Chino, 1925-27

Considering there were probably well over 2000 dairies in California, this list is very short showing that producing certified milk was not an easy job.  The list is fairly accurate after 1918.  Prior to 1918 certified dairies were not reported in any one place and there may be a few that are not listed here or there may be gaps in the dates.

Milk bottles left to right:
Sleepy Hollow Certified Milk Co., quart, San Anselmo, California, Illinois-Pacific Glass Co., 1924
Brown's Guernsey Dairy, quart, Capitola, California, United Glass Products Co., approx 1930
Arden Dairy, quart, El Monte, California, West Coast Glass Company, pre-1930
Burroughs Bros., quart, Knightsen, California, Illinois-Pacific Glass Co., 1919

First off page milk bottle:
Brown's Guernsey Dairy, quart, Capitola, California, Owens-Illinois, 1933

Second off page milk bottle:
Brown Ranch, half pint, Capitola, California, Illinois Pacific Glass Co., pre-1930

Third off page milk bottles:
Burroughs Brothers Walnut Grove Farm, half pint, Knightsen, California, Owens-Illinois, 1947
Burroughs Brothers Walnut Grove Farm, pint, Knightsen, California, Hazel-Atlas, date unknown
Burroughs Brothers Walnut Grove Farm, quart, Knightsen, California, Owens-Illinois, 1946
Burroughs Brothers Walnut Grove Farm, half gallon, Knightsen, California, Hazel-Atlas, date unknown