York Town Square

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The milkman from Stewartstown muses about delivering standing up: ‘I don’t know how I drove’

York County, Pa.’s, Palmer Thompson reflects on his day as a milkman, in this York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News video. It’s part of a “Remember” oral history series. 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’.

When Palmer Thompson got a job as a milkman in 1962, one of the first things he had to do was learn how to drive a truck standing up.
Drivers removed the front seat because it was easier to get to the back of the truck where the milk was stored, which reduced delivery time.
“I don’t know how I drove,” he said, trying to remember by demonstrating how he positioned his feet and held the wheel.
That’s how the York Daily Record/Sunday News “Remember” piece “Visits from the milkman” compellingly begins… .

York County’s last milkman may have made his final delivery in 1994. That is believed to have been John Schwartz, who retired from Rutter’s Dairy.
That was the final delivery, that is, until a small company in the East Berlin area started making deliveries in recent years.
Here are some milkman facts from that “Visits from the milkman” package:

• Milk delivery to homes began in 1942.
• By 1973, 10 percent of Americans still received home milk delivery. By 1995, the milkman visited 1 percent of American homes.
• Milk was delivered in glass bottles until plastic containers were invented in 1964.
• Dairy cows provide more than 90 percent of the world’s milk supply.
• It takes 10 pounds of milk to make a pound of cheese, 21 pounds of milk to make a pound of butter, and 12 pounds of milk to make a gallon of ice cream.
• Despite its creamy texture, milk is 85 percent to 95 percent water. The rest of its volume comes from vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fat.
• Until the development of milking machines in 1894, farmers milked about six cows each hour. Today, the average dairy farmer milks more than 100 cows per hour.
• A single cow yields about 90 glasses of milk per day or about 200,000 glasses of milk per lifetime.
• Other sources of milk come from donkeys, reindeer, sheep, water buffalo, yaks, moose, horses, soy, hemp and almonds.

2020site.org, brownsdairy.com
A sampling of other topics in the “Remember” series:
The moon landing
Tropical Storm Agnes
York County’s cigarmaking days
The Great Depression
Blizzards of 1993 and 1996
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.)