Cream rises to the top of this nostalgic milk bottle with an ornate baby face.
This baby-face milk bottle, found in my grandmother’s basement, is 9-¾ inches tall. What can you tell me about it?
L.M., Jacksonville, Florida
What’s it Worth?
Before 1880, farmers peddled fresh milk in town, dipping from a creamery can to fill customers’ containers. The introduction of glass bottles made home delivery via milk wagons easy through the 1940s.
A uniformed man would restock your icebox, making sure the freshest milk was placed in the rear. Before milk was homogenized, the cream—up to 27 percent butterfat—would rise to the top, then mix with the milk as it was poured out. Bottles like yours, with a baby’s face embossed on the cream bulb, allowed the cream to collect above the neck and to be separated from the milk. The basic design was patented in 1936.
Dairies often had glass factories make their reusable bottles, which were embossed with the company name and advertising slogans. Your bottle comes from the Fox Dairy of Fostoria, Ohio, started in 1929 by Elias Fox, who began selling from the trunk of his car; it remained in business until 1962. If your bottle has no chips, stains or wear around the barrel, its value is $90.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)