A milkman is a person, traditionally male, who delivers milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 in milk bottle
Milk bottle
Milk bottles are bottles used for milk. They may be reusable glass bottles used mainly for doorstep delivery of fresh milk by milkmen. Customers are expected to rinse the empty bottles and leave on the doorstep for collection...

s or cartons. Milk deliveries frequently occur in the morning and it is not uncommon for milkmen to deliver products other than milk such as eggs, cream, cheese, butter, yogurt or soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

s. Nowadays a community of milkmen known as Milk&More in the UK deliver products other than milk, like bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

, basic fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 like apples or oranges, hence the "more".

Originally, milk needed to be delivered to houses daily since the lack of good refrigeration meant it would quickly spoil. The near-ubiquity of refrigerators in homes in the developed world, as well as improved packaging, has decreased the need for frequent milk delivery over the past half-century and made the trade shrink in many localities sometimes to just 3 days a week and disappear totally in others. Additionally, milk delivery incurs a small cost on the price of dairy products that is increasingly difficult to justify and leaves delivered milk in a position where it is prone to theft.

In the United States, houses of that era often had a "milk box" built into an outside wall, a small cabinet with a door on the outside for the milkman to place the milk bottles, and a door on the inside for a resident to retrieve the bottles. Thus the milkman could deliver the milk without entering the home, and the resident could retrieve the milk without going outside.
In recent times, British, Irish, and other European milkmen have traveled in an electric vehicle called a milk float
Milk float
A milk float is a battery electric vehicle , specifically designed for the delivery of fresh milk. They were once common in many European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, and were operated by local dairies...

, except on rural rounds. Earlier milkmen used horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

-drawn vehicles; in Britain these were still seen in the 1950s. In Australia the delivery vehicle was usually a small gas or diesel engined truck with a covered milk-tray. In hotter areas, this tray is usually insulated.

In India milkmen usually still use milk churns that are no longer used in western countries. On the road they are put on any kind of vehicle. In big cities like Mumbai those milk churns are often transported in luggage comportments in local trains.

Companies In Milk Delivery

  • Dairy Crest
    Dairy Crest
    Dairy Crest Group plc is a major dairy products company in the United Kingdom. Its brands include Cathedral City Cheddar cheese, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite, Clover, St Ivel and Frijj. The company delivers milk to around 1.1 million households via their milkmen...

     - United Kingdom
  • Express Dairies
    Express Dairies
    Express Dairies is a subsidiary of Dairy Crest, specialising almost entirely in home deliveries of milk and other dairy products.-History:The company was founded by George Barham in 1864 as the Express County Milk Supply Company, named after the fact that they only used express trains to get their...

     - United Kingdom

In popular culture

The frequent deliveries by milkmen to homes during the day has led to a high level of familiarity with many homemakers — often female — which has made the occupation a central figure in numerous milkman jokes.

In the Uganda region an often used title for "king" is "Omukama", which means "superior milkman/milk bringer": a title that refers to a) the role of the leader as a feeder of the people and b) the historical tradition, that the ancient ruling class of some Ugandan kingdoms was of Hima-tribal stock (the Hima were cattle-holders).

The lead character of Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters by Sholem Aleichem...

, Tevye
Tevye the Dairyman is the protagonist of several of Sholem Aleichem's stories, originally written in Yiddish and first published in 1894. The character became best known from the fictional memoir Tevye and his Daughters , about a pious Jewish milkman in Tsarist Russia, and the troubles he has with...

, is a milkman.

A short story in the horror anthology Skeleton Crew
Skeleton Crew
Skeleton Crew is the second collection of short fiction by Stephen King. The first collection, Night Shift, was published seven years prior in 1978. Different Seasons, a collection of four novellas, was published between the two in 1982. Skeleton Crew was originally published in hardcover form by...

by Stephen King
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books...

, called "Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)
Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)
"Morning Deliveries " is a short story by Stephen King published in King's 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. The story follows the morning route of a milkman named Spike Milligan, who leaves various "surprises" in the milk bottles for his customers to find, including poisonous liquids, deadly gas, and...

", concerns a milkman who kills people by leaving "surprises" (poison, toxic gas, venomous spiders, etc.) in their milk cans. "Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman" is a comicbook character created by David Boswell
David Boswell
David E. Boswell is a comic book writer and artist, illustrator, and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia who has worked in the comics industry. He is the creator of the series Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman....

 which first appeared in 1980.

The comedian Benny Hill
Benny Hill
Benny Hill was an English comedian and actor, notable for his long-running television programme The Benny Hill Show.-Early life:...

 had a hit novelty song about Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
Ernie (the Fastest Milkman in the West)
"Ernie " is an innuendo-laden comedy or novelty song, written and performed by the English comedian Benny Hill...


See also

  • Lloyd G. Davies
    Lloyd G. Davies
    Lloyd G. Davies was a Hollywood advertising and public relations man and sometime actor who was a Los Angeles City Council member from 1943 to 1951.-Biography:...

    , Los Angeles City Council member, 1943–51, fought a proposal to limit the hours of home milk delivery
  • Milk delivery

External links

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