Jan 11, 2013

Best By Test



Growing up in Little Lehigh Parkway, now called Little Lehigh Manor by the Realtors, the milkman was an early morning fixture.  Almost every house had the insulated aluminum milkbox.  The milk trucks were distinctive, and the drivers wore a uniform, indicative of their responsibility.  Freeman's milk was the best by test, or so the slogan said.  Their trucks were red and immaculate.  The dairy building  still stands, a quarter block north of 13th and Tilghman Streets.  They competed with a giant, Lehigh Valley Co-Operative Farmers.  That dairy, on the Allentown/Whitehall border, just north of the Sumner Avenue Bridge on 7th Street, even sported an ice cream parlor.  Milk, up to the mid 50's, came in a bottle.  The milkman would take the empties away when delivering your fresh order.  In addition to white and chocolate,  they produced strawberry milk  in the summer.  About once a week the milkman would knock on the door to settle up;  times have changed.

Occasionally the bottle, and later the cartons, would feature themes and advertisements.  A picture of Hopalong Cassidy would entertain young boys as they poured milk into their Corn Flakes.  Earlier, during the War, (Second World) bottles would encourage customers to do their part;  buy a bond or scrap some metal for the war effort.

reprinted from August 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I was fortunate to be one of the last Commissioned Wholesale Distributors for Freeman's. Coming home again after 10 years overseas Military Service. I had a route that covered all of Center City and parts of the South Side and the West End from 1970 to 1982.(they closed the plant at 13th and Green Streets in 1983
From 1982 to 2001 I was a Master Wholesaler of Institutional/Specialty Coffees.
I sure do miss the old Center City and all the hustle and bustle of real good business and neighborhoods.....PJF