“Milkman” one of five old-school jobs that’s making a comeback in America

From Joe Mont on “The Street”:

One of Canada's obsolete occupations? Not so fast, eh.

“The neighborhood milkman is an indelible image of Americana. Dressed all in white, they would make door-to-door deliveries of milk, cream and butter with a smile and tip of their pristine cap.

The traditional milkman all but disappeared since a heyday in the 1940s and ’50s. A big reason was the emergence of large and local grocery stores that offered the appeal of one-stop shopping, as well as the “grab it fast” appeal of convenience stores. Improvements in home refrigeration and homogenization alike made use-it-or-lose-it milk purchases a thing of the past, and daily deliveries fell by the wayside.

Also, over time, large dairy companies forced a market consolidation that often squeezed out local suppliers. Selling on volume, grocery stores could undercut the prices charged by milkmen and the farms that employed them.

21st century milkman? Click picture for source

Another death knell was a cultural shift of the 1970s: As women increasingly entered the workplace, there was no one home during the day to receive orders and pack them away in the fridge. Leaving glass bottles of milk unattended In the hot summer sun? Not a grand idea.

Slowly but surely, milkmen have been re-emerging.

Fueling the resurgence of the past few years, in large part, is that more people are more serious about their food and wanting to “buy local.” Patronizing local dairy farmers is seen as giving access to fresher, better tasting product, and milkmen serve as a conduit between local, family farms and consumers. For those who want it, in states that allow it, the milkman may be the only source of specialty products such as raw milk….”

Read it all on The Street.

The lead picture is from an article that declares the Milkman to be an obsolete occupation in Canada. Here’s what MSN Money says about it:

This milkman in India is plying a trade that's never really gone out of fashion in his country. Click image for source.

“The milkman was a delivery person of great importance in the mid-1900s. And only the introduction of one household appliance, the refrigerator, proved to be this profession’s undoing. As the fridge started turning up in family kitchens and the risk of dairy products spoiling became less and less, the milkman’s decline began until he became as rare today as the three dollar coin. Yet, while Statistics Canada data shows the number of Canuck milkmen peaked last century, there is a flicker of hope for the dying trade. With a newfound insistence on buying local, some consumers in larger cities receive weekly shipments of dairy products. Does this mean the return of the milkman? Only time will tell.”

That’s from MSN Money.

Low-emissions milk delivery vehicle. Click image for source.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to ““Milkman” one of five old-school jobs that’s making a comeback in America

  1. sue maxwell

    Wow- I had forgotten about the milkman. I grew up in a small bedroom community to NYC in Connecticut. We always had milk left at the door and when we were young we had a refrigeraton and the ice was delivered for it. I miss those times and never go into a large supermarket. After growing up in a small town, and living in Europe and Japan for 9 years I prefer small stores where you get to know the employees. Sue

  2. Pingback: “Milkman” one of five old-school jobs that’s making a comeback in America « 3 Wheeled Cheese

  3. Thank you for writing this article. We are glad to see that there are those who agree; The Milkman is Back!

    This business model works. Get the news out to social entrepreneurs, those who need work, those who want a nice job and work that helps the community and the organic food system and farms. It is about health and yes, food safety. Investors want to know about this now. See in Australia; the number one franchise is a Milkman delivery service. Name: Aussie Farmers Direct. In England it is Milk & More. Commercial farms do not support this of course. They are “in” with the ADA, the FDA, the USDA. and big business. Just go and visit them. Go see a commercial milk processing plant. More white paint in a bottle. Poison.

    If you want a business, a good way of life, an investment, a career with a social conscience, a way to feed your family and a way out of corrupt business dealings; go direct. Direct from the farm and direct to the consumer. That simple. Call us anytime for a consultation. see http://www.THEMILKMANCOMPANY.com..We are winning the battle here in the Northeast. With a Milkman. It can be a Milk Lady.

    Hey, Mark McAfee, hire me, I am a Milkman. Organic pastures in California has raw milk and delivers to consumers. and not thru Whole Foods anymore. Why not? No need to say. Do the homework. It is clear as to why not. And drink Organic pastures Raw Milk. It is delicious. And nutritious. And not like the white paint in a plastic container sold in your grocery stores.

    Milkmen USA

  4. Bernician

    Weird, so milkmen don’t exist in America? In Britain they’re pretty common. The get around what you say killed American milkmen by coming at 3am

  5. john rooney

    hello, I am a student doing a project on milk men through the ages.
    Would you be able to direct me to where I could get old and new photos of milkmen.
    Thanks,
    John.

  6. thebovine

    Umm. Try Google image search.

  7. Pingback: 12 Dead Careers That Are Never Coming Back | Rightly Wired

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