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A Milkman's Day

FAMILY COOPERATION

As a child in South Berwick, Maine,Theresa Michaud helped
her father, Joseph, on the milk route before she went to school. Beginning at age fifteen when she could drive the family’s station wagon,Theresa delivered milk by herself. Her brothers, Raymond and Henry, helped in the fields and barn.Women like Theresa’s mother,Mary, married into the business and carried out whatever chores were needed. When Joseph injured his leg, Mary, the children, and nearby uncles from both sides of the family kept the farm and delivery business going.

 

 

Theresa Michaud and her brother Raymond, South Berwick, Maine, circa 1950
Courtesy of Theresa Michaud Wilkinson

Michaud’s Dairy delivery truck, South Berwick, Maine, 1950s
Courtesy of Theresa Michaud Wilkinson
Joseph and Mary Michaud, Michaud’s Dairy, South Berwick, Maine, 1959
Courtesy of Theresa Michaud Wilkinson
 
 
 

Oakhurst Dairy milkman John
Merriman, early 1960s

Courtesy of Oakhurst Dairy, Portland, Maine
The familiar boxy, Divco trucks — made by the Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company — had low floors for ease in stepping in and out, driving instruments that could be manipulated standing up, a fold-up seat, and space for carrying milk crates and ice. Divcos delivered all kinds of products like milk, mail, and baked goods. Small dairies often simply used their farm or family vehicles.

A Milkman’s Day — A chart, based on data from 1939-42 (top)

Group portrait of H. P. Hood and Sons
milkmen, 1940s (above, left)

Courtesy of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
H. P. Hood and Sons milkman, Salem,
Massachusetts, circa 1950 (left
)
Photograph by Jeffrey
Courtesy of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
A Milkman's Day