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Before the Carton...Before the Bottle...


Hobart, Australia

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

Featured in History Group on 12/16/12

Featured in Nostalgic Art and Photography Group on 02/26/13

Featured in Food For Thought Group on 09/28/13

Before the plastic bottle or carton, before the waxed cardboard carton, there was the Milk Can. The cans are now collected as antique treasures as seen here outside the ice creamery at Timbertown Heritage Park, Wauchope, near Port Macquarie, Australia.

In the 1860s, if you wanted milk, the only milk container was a cow or possibly a metal milk can. The 1870s saw the emergence of large 10 gallon metal milk cans.

The glass milk bottle. Invented in 1884, meant milk could be stored for several days without spoilage because bottles could be sterilised and the milk pasteurised.

In 1915, John Van Wormer cried over split milk because it also involved broken glass. He turned his frustration into an idea of a ‘paper bottle’ that had to be folded, glued and dipped in paraffin wax. He was granted the patent and ten years later he also had a machine to form, fill and seal the new ‘Pure-pak’ containers.

In the 1940s the paraffin wax was replaced by polyethylene plastic. But the milk carton did not catch on until the 1960s when cartons included a new feature: the open-able spout.

Nowadays, the cartons have been joined by plastic bottles.

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This shot was taken with my Pentax k-r on 14 September 2012.

Lens Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
ISO 200
0 EV
1/200 sec
Hand held

HDR in Simply HDR for Mac.

Artwork Comments

  • maggie326
  • TonyCrehan
  • Cynthia Broomfield
  • TonyCrehan
  • EdsMum
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