From Dairy to Doorstep: A Journey Back to Days of the Milkman

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New Englanders remember fondly the days when milkmen brought dairy-fresh products to the doorstep each morning. The Museum of New Hampshire History will bring back the era of glass bottles in a new exhibition entitled From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England, 1860-1960. The exhibition will open on Saturday, May 1, 2004, and will chronicle the origins of home milk delivery and the heyday of the milkman.

From Dairy to Doorstep takes us on a nostalgic journey through artifacts from when the milk bottle was king, with period advertisements, toys, photographs, cream separation gadgets, and even a re-created 1950s style kitchen. Tales and interviews will also help to tell how the New England milkman touched so many lives. From Dairy to Doorstep will also give context to today’s younger generations of what milk production, delivery, and consumption were like in the decades past.

The milkman was a part of the morning landscape, bringing fresh milk, cream and butter and in all kinds of weather. The interactive exhibition lets kids try their hand at butter churns and milking a model cow. Video interviews also give first-hand insight into what it was like to deliver the milk to New England’s homes, be it by horse-drawn wagons, truck, or sleds. There will also be a memory book for visitors to share their own dairy to doorstep era memories.

From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England, 1860-1960, at the Museum of New Hampshire History is presented by Shaw’s Supermarkets and the New Hampshire Humanities Council, with additional support from Northeast Delta Dental and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. The exhibition was organized by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston, Massachusetts, in collaboration with the National Heritage Museum and made possible by HP Hood Inc., and Elizabeth Hood McAfoose and Emily C. Hood.

Founded in 1823, the New Hampshire Historical Society is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing New Hampshire history through the Museum of New Hampshire History and the Tuck Library.

The Museum of New Hampshire History is located at 6 Eagle Square off Exit 14 from I-93 in downtown Concord. Admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, and $3 for children 6-18, with a family maximum of $17. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. The museum is also open Mondays 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from July 1 through Oct. 15 and in December. Free museum parking is offered in the museum lot off Storrs Street. Arrange a guided group visit by calling 603/856-0604. For more information call 603/228-6688, or visit the museum online at


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Jayme Simoes