Pull Up Your Gosh-darn Pants: Baby Edition
All's Well That Ends Well

Safe Milk for Babies

Yesterday's prompt for the April Photo A Day was "bottles," and I knew exactly what I was going to do with that!

Here is picture of three old milk bottles, all from a dairy founded by my great-uncles George and Joseph Wise.


I gussied up the shot with a sprig of multiflora rose, a weedy but pretty bush that grows in abundance in our neighborhood.

The weirdly shaped quart bottle in the back is likely the oldest. It's a patented "cream-top" bottle -- that bulge at the top of the bottle held the cream that separated from the un-homogenized milk. You poured the cream off the top to get to the milk. The other two bottles hold a pint and half-pint.

George and Joseph established the Chevy Chase Dairy in 1895, according to this article from the Washington Post. It was quite successful -- my mother used to tell me that she and my Pop would dress up to go and visit the "rich relatives".

Unfortunately, my grandfather, Edward, did not join his brothers in the dairy business, preferring to start up his own wood and coal delivery business. Even more unfortunately, he had no head for business, and gave away more wood and coal than he sold.

But I digress.

All three bottles have the dairy's slogan imprinted into the glass: "Safe Milk for Babies". Isn't that a great tagline? Was there a doubt that bottled milk would be safe for adults, but unsafe for babies? On the larger bottles is the logo -- a mother (or perhaps a nurse) feeding her infant a bottle of Chevy Chase Dairy milk. The larger bottles also have a "W" on the bottom or the back, which refers to the Wises.

The dairy merged with another DC Dairy, Chestnut Farms, and then Chestnut Farms merged with another dairy, Maryland Farms, and so on and so on. By the time I came along, there were just a handful of dairies left in DC -- I remember Thompson's Honor Dairy and Embassy Dairy -- and now, well, you get your milk at the supermarket.

But is it still safe for babies?