Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1938 Snow White Milk Bottles

In their 1990 Tomart's Price Guide to Character and Promotional Glasses, authors Carol and Gene Markowski write that a major reason why Disney was so successful with its dairy campaigns of the 1930s and 40s was due to the fact that the milk bottles being delivered to customer doorsteps were decorated with Disney characters. The bottles made the perfect tie-in to the drinking glasses (see earlier post), which were being offered as premiums.

In 1938, a series of Snow White milk bottles were produced. They featured color pyro-glaze graphics of the characters, along with a rhyming text meant to promote milk consumption. In addition, the name (or logo) of the individual dairy would be included, either as a graphic or embossed lettering. Made from glass, the bottles came in quart and pint sizes. Lids were either screw-on or cork style.

This first bottle shows Dopey, Sneezy and Snow White. The text reads, SNOW WHITE AND THE DWARFS SO GRAND--DRINK THEIR MILK TO BEAT THE BAND! It's a quart-size container with a threaded lip.

Image via Tomart's Price Guide to Character and Promotional Glasses, 1990, p.50.


The same graphic is seen on a pint-size bottle. Container measures about 7.25" tall and 3" across at base. Top would have been sealed with a cork lid.

As the black and red pyro glaze indicates, the bottle came from Benson Co-op Creamery in Benson, Minn. The glass was manufactured by Owens-Illinois and is embossed on the bottom with an "O' and "I" logo.

Benson Creamery images via vintagepointartifactsmn.


In a green graphic, Happy raises a glass to the slogan "HAPPY KNOWS WHAT'S GOOD FOR HIM--GOOD FRESH MILK FOR VIGOR AND VIM!" Dairy name is embossed on bottle.

Image via Tomart's Price Guide


Red graphics, the heads of Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs surround the lines "HEALTHY AS CAN BE, THEY'VE HAD THEIR MILK AS YOU CAN SEE."

The one quart bottle comes from Johnstown Sanitary Dairy in Johnstown, PA.

Johnstown images via ralphthemoose.


Orange graphics feature Snow White dancing with Doc. Blue text read, "SNOW WHITE'S SKIN IS SMOOTH AS SILK, DOC SAYS THAT'S FROM DRINKING MILK!" Dairy name is printed on opposite side and letters are embossed on bottom.

Images via thebottleguy.


There was at least one other Snow White bottle known to have existed in this series. It featured Doc with an Owl. All of the bottles are much more scarce than the dairy glasses because...
There was a deposit paid on these bottles and most were redeemed by dairies or taken out of service due to chipping, excess wear, or breakage. Hence, character milk bottles are very rare. The biggest source [today] has been dairies going out of business. Source: Tomart's Price Guide...p.148.

Who could have known back in 1938 that these simple and utilitarian milk and cream containers would today be such prized possessions for the serious Snow White collector? We're keeping our eyes open for more.

August 2017 UPDATE: See a super rare Snow White milk bottle design in another post.

No comments:

Post a Comment