History of Milk Carton
Paper containers for milk are now so commonplace that it is hard to imagine that it took over twenty patient years of persistence to get the public to accept them. But it did, and the man who is responsible is named John Van Wormer.
Van Wormer owned a toy factory in Toledo, Ohio. He got the idea for paper milk cartons after dropping a milk bottle one morning. The bottle broke, the milk went everywhere, and it was an annoying way to start the day.
Van Wormer took out a patent in 1915 for his new product. He called it “Pure-Pak,” because the container could be thrown away after one use. Then the difficulties began. It took ten years for Van Wormer to perfect a machine capable of making the containers.
Even then the struggle was not over, most Americans were very attached to milk in bottles. But time, and a steady increase in the cost of glass, worked in Van Wormer’s favor. Soon many other companies were making their own paper milk cartons, and by 1950, Van Wormer’s company was producing them at the rate of 20,000,000 a day.
Fun facts about Milk
Milk is white because of its fat content. Although milk is composed of approximately 87% water, which is colorless, the fat and protein molecules floating inside it reflect all light wavelengths, making it appear white.
On average, a cow produces 6.3 gallons of milk each day. That’s nearly 2,300 gallons per year. The most milk produced by a single cow in one year was 59,298 pounds. The record is held by a Holstein cow by the name of Robtham Suzette Paddy of The family-run Robthom Farm near Springfield, Missouri. At her peak, Sue produced more than 200 lbs. per day.
In Uganda, the title for “king” is “Omukama,” which means “superior milkman”. The Bantu title refers to the king’s role as feeder of his people. Moreover, rulers in the ancient Ugandan kingdoms were of Hema descent—a minority group known for being cattle holders.
Milk will stay fresher if you add salt. Adding a pinch of salt or baking soda to each carton as soon as you open it will keep milk fresh for over a week past its expiration date. The active ingredients preserve the milk, keeping it from spoiling so quickly. You can also pop it in the freezer!
Milk is the only food that you can survive wholly on. No single vegetable, legume, or type of carbohydrate contains all nine essential amino acids that human require to build proteins, and a meat-only diet lacks the necessary Vitamin C. Milk, however, contains every nutrient we need—even as adults.
According to Greek mythology, our galaxy is formed out of the Queen of the Gods’ spilt milk. In the myth, Zeus’s wife, Hera, was pushing baby Hercules away when several drops of milk dropped from her breast and into the night sky. The name “Milky Way” is actually a translation of the Greek term for “milky circle,” the name ancient peoples gave to our corner of the universe.
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