What’s it Worth: Baby-Face Milk Bottle

Cream rises to the top of this nostalgic milk bottle with an ornate baby face.

What's it worth: Milk bottle with dairy name.

What's it worth?

Antique milk bottles were often embossed with the dairy's name.

What's it worth: Milk bottle with advertising

What's it worth?

Advertising slogans were typically added to the back of milk bottles.

 

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)

 

RIC Roberts 1 November 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I also have a baby face bottle in really great condition from a Pine State Dairy in Bangor Maine. Are they all worth about the same? RR

Reply

sharon 2 November 18, 2013 at 8:57 am

Hi, RR, Our antique appraisals give a general idea of what similar items would be worth. However, values can vary depending on the condition and availability of the piece. We’d suggest you consult a local antiques appraiser to get a value specific to your milk bottle.

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