Collecting Milk Bottles ~ Tucson and Beyond

The image of the milkman delivering bottles of milk to the front door is forever etched on the mind of most people. But such deliveries are a thing of the past almost everywhere. Perhaps this is why so many have a fondness for milk bottles. These nostalgic bottles vary greatly in style, size, etc. This makes for a fun treasure hunt and if you come into the Midtown Mercantile Merchants Mall at 4443 E. Speedway you just might find a bottle or two.

Before there were milk bottles. San Fernando, CA, circa 1910. This is a truly amazing photo!

Those who have been bitten by the milk bottle collecting bug will find many examples to add to their collection. There is a vast array of different sizes, shapes, and colors. There are related bottles as well, such as those produced to hold cream or cottage cheese.

Some nice examples

The number of different dairies is too many to count. Most collectors specialize. Many focus on a particular dairy, or dairies within a particular geographical area. Such as Tucson, or Arizona. Rumors are that at one time Tucson had over forty active dairies so there are lots of bottles out there waiting to be found! Other than location, some collectors search out only cream-top bottles or bottles with a particular design – such as cows, clover leafs, human faces, or dairy barns.

Rare “A Mountain” bottle

Some rare Arizona bottles. Part of the collection of one of Arizona’s most important collectors.

Cream top

More Tucson examples

Common milk bottles can be found for anywhere from $5 to $25. The prices go up from there. It’s not unusual to see milk bottles with price tags of $50, $100, and a whole lot more.

Rare Flowing Wells bottle

So put on your treasure-huntin’ shoes and get out there and grab some of these fantastic little pieces of history.

A pretty little Sunset Dairy bottle

Carol Fenn 3-2017