Digest>Archives> December 2010

Everyday Deeds That Pass Unsung

By Timothy Harrison


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In the early 1900s, Life Magazine would occasionally make light of what they called “Everyday Deeds That Pass Unsung.” This apparently was done with some type of artwork as is shown here and was titled “Delivering the Milk to the Lighthouse.”

However, it is highly improbable that any lighthouse sitting far from land and surrounded by water ever received a milk delivery from the milk-man. Instead, if the lighthouse keepers at these stations used milk at all, they would have used canned milk. And, island lighthouses and many remote lighthouses on the mainland had cows for a fresh supply of milk for their families.

However, it is possible that by 1929, lighthouses located in highly populated areas, probably did indeed have milk and other products delivered by the milk-man.

Interestingly, both the job of the milk-man and lighthouse keeper have all but faded from the American scene. While many of the lighthouses are still here, I wondered what happened to all of those neat looking milk trucks?

After doing a little research I found out that there are still a number of them around, mostly in museums, in the same place most lighthouse artifacts are. But sadly, most of the milk trucks and the history associated with them, just like many of our lighthouse artifacts and their history, have been lost forever.

This story appeared in the December 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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