Depression Milk Show


Left photo via; right photo from the NY Food Museum website

Sort of ironic, that I only learn about this NY Food Museum show (in Brooklyn, just across the river from me) via Moscow-based PopSop website. But, it’s all good: A history of the “Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative” (which, in 1938, the Special Investigation Committee on Un-American Activities cited as a “communist-launched group.”)

The Over Spilt Milk show features: “Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative pamphlets and broadsides, vintage milk cartons, and miniature dioramas…”

I like the arcane tri-foil metal closure on the top of that carton. (I'm just making up my own terminology here—if you know a more accurate name for that type of carton please weigh in!)

The CFMC unveiled their paper milk carton in the first edition of The Link, praising its convenience: “Lighter than bottles to carry (one weighs only 2 oz.); no washing; more sanitary; no exposed pouring surface; closed spout prevents entrance of bacteria and dust.” The lightweight design also improved delivery efficiency. In 1943, Parodneck reported that a delivery route of 135 cases of paper cartons carried 2,700 quarts of milk, compared to the 1500 quarts carried by a bottle route of 125 cases. An emblem of Coop modernism, the paper carton’s convenience and efficiency was celebrated on promotional material, newsletters and at fancy dress parties: a Co-op office manager once attended a League of Mother’s Club Dance wearing “a green dress covered with Co-op literature, a necklace of vouchers, and on her head a ½ pint Co-op milk container.” It was the perfect outfit to characterize the triumphant fulfillment of the CMFC's mission.

–excerpted from the NY Food Museum website

(More photos and info about show, after the fold…)

On left anthropomorphic version of the tri-foil carton; on right a flat-topped carton—(not quite Ruben Rausing’s gable-topped Tetra Rex, but similar)—which features an anthro-pack version of itself on the side panel demonstrating how to open. (Both photos from Photos from

Now I just have to be sure and get there on a Saturday or Sunday before May 3rd.

The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

(Open Saturday & Sunday 12-6pm)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

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