Do you remember when York County milkmen made home deliveries?

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Jay Crist of York County, Pa.-based Rutter’s dairy, demonstrates how milk deliveries were made in a standing position. York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News photographer Paul Kuehnel, who photographed this demonstration on a restored 1925 truck in 2006, explained that a delivery person would first drive the truck to the route while standing in the front of the truck. After arriving, the driver would move to the side where the truck could be driven using a tiller and standing pedals. Here, Crist demonstrates how to drive using the side controls. Background posts: Baltimore screamed for York County ice cream and Pinch Gut or Arbor or Adamsville is in Red Lion or Dallastown or, uh, actually York Township and Perrydale’s bovine: ‘She’s a wonderful, laid-back cow’.

York countian Gary E. Heiland submitted a Green’s Daily photograph that appeared on this blog and now has e-mailed additional insightful info about his father, John M. Heiland, a milk deliveryman who left home at age 14:


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Driving a 1925 Divco milk truck can be a challenge, photographer Paul Kuehnel reported. He explained: The truck was designed to be driven while the milk man stands on the outside of the truck. This was done to make it easier to hop off the truck to make a delivery. The gear shift is in front of the pedals that control cluch and brake. While standing on the outside of the truck, the driver must reach inside the truck to a tiller bar to steer the truck left and right.

Some of the jobs my Dad worked at were driving a freight wagon for Fulton, Mehring and Houser, a hardware firm in York; driving a coal wagon and delivering coal to homes; and delivering bread for Fishel’s Bakery in York. My Dad had a country route for Fishel’s and in those days the bread and rolls were not wrapped in paper of any kind. Now a horse and buggy on a country road (could) stir up a good bit of dust in the dry summer weather and when reaching a customer, Dad would have to take a brush and brush the dust off of the product before carrying it into the customer.

Gary pointed out that in those horse-and-buggy days, the surface of dirt roads carried a lot more than dirt.
He continued:

After a few years with Fishel’s Bakery he went to work for Green’s Dairy until his retirement at age 65. He started out with horse and buggy and finished up with delivery trucks.
By the way, when Mr. Clarence Green started his dairy he delivered milk from one big tank hauled with a horse and buggy. When a customer came out for milk, he would ladle out a quart or two for the customer from the tank. I guess those were the good old days.
I too remember the ice man. My cousin Mose Sechrist drove an ice truck for the York Ice Company. The ice truck was a Model A Ford, I think, with a really neat sounding motor. Do you remember the placards that ice customers would put in their windows? The placard would be oriented properly to display 25, 50, 75 or 100 pounds of ice.
Then I could talk about the “glistening” sound of chain drive Mack trucks that were around into the late 50s, but I think I have written too much already.

No, Gary, you have a lot of stories yet in you. Keep writing.
Also of interest:
The milkman from Stewartstown muses about delivering standing up: ‘I don’t know how I drove’.
Remember: Visits from the milkman.
See a Paul Kuehnel video of Jay Crist operating a milk delivery truck.
Also:
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.) Or search via Google.
All Linked In/Neat Stuff posts from the start..
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Jay Crist collects old milk delivery trucks. A photo of a since-restored 1936 Thorne gas/electric stand-and-drive delivery truck shows its condition after it was found behind a chicken house in Central Pennsylvania. The truck was used by Rutter’s for 18 years before it was sold to Ruhl’s bakery in Harrisburg.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Farms, fields & mills, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, People, Wheels of York, YorkEats: Hogmaw & such. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do you remember when York County milkmen made home deliveries?

  1. John Loeper says:

    I DO remember the dairy delivery person ( the “Milk Man”) in the 1950s at our house. I also remember that there was a Dry cleaner who came buy every week for pick up and delivery, a “bread man” from Fishel bakery in West York , a guy who sold produce from his truck used to stop every saturday with fruits and veggies, and the guy from the beer distrbuter would deliver a case of brew every for my Dad and pick up his case of emptys from the week before. how cool was that ?

  2. Jo says:

    And then, Jim, there was the home beer delivery. One of my parents’ favorite stories about me when I was little in Juniata Co. was when the Stegmaier beer truck would come down the street. I’d rush into the house and yell, “Hey mom, the beer man’s here.”

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