These are one-gallon dairy containers from The Waterloo Milk Company based in Waterloo, Illinois, circa 1950’s. These containers represent some of the different types of milk and juice beverages made by the Waterloo Milk Co. Paper dairy cartons are considered some of the most rare types of vintage collectibles for dairy items. Most of those paper items were thrown away after the product was used making them difficult to find and are sought after by collectors.The dairy manufactured whole white milk, chocolate milk, whipping cream, orange juice, grape juice, ice cream, sherbet, cottage cheese and butter.
The Waterloo Milk Company started in 1897 and was originally known as the Fountain Farmer’s Creamery Company. The company changed their name in 1908 to the M & O Milk Company because the dairy was only located a few yards from the Mobile & Ohio Railroad tracks. However, when the company started condensing milk in 1918 the name changed to the Waterloo Condensed Milk Company. Finally, in 1925 the business changed their name to The Waterloo Milk Company, Inc. after it incorporated.The company was very prosperous for many years. In 1955, it was one of the largest businesses in Waterloo with sales over one million dollars per year. The company went out of business in 1969 when the competition from larger regional brands started to significantly take their market share.