Sunday: Refreshment Delivered to your Door

Written by on September 4, 2016 in Sunday Ads - No comments
0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×
This 1956 ad shows the wide array of dairy products one could have delivered to their doorstep by their Robert's dairy milkman. Home milk delivery remained popular throughout the 1950's until the age of the supermarket.(Courtesy Indiana State Library)

This 1956 ad shows the wide array of dairy products available for delivery to front doorsteps citywide by their Robert’s dairy milkman. Home milk delivery remained popular through the 1950’s until the age of the supermarket. (Image: Indiana State Library)

Business:  Robert’s Dairy

 Date of Ad:  September 2, 1956

Location:  4201 Millersville Road

Years of Operation: 1877-1988

Notable:  Do you remember home milk delivery? Until refrigeration and supermarkets, most folks received daily delivery of dairy products directly to their doorsteps from a local dairy. One of the bigger names in Indianapolis was Robert’s Dairy, which began operating in 1877. In 1930 they opened a vast new bottling operation on Millersville Road on the northeast side of the city. They even featured a giant cow mascot.

Robert’s remained a dominant supplier of dairy products to grocery stores and schools through the 1980s. The company declared bankruptcy in 1987 and sold off all of their production to Maplehurst, which in turn sold to Dean Foods in 1997. With the popularity of home grocery delivery, perhaps we’ll see a return of the milman in the near future?

Additionally: In 1982, Robert’s acquired Lindner’s stores, another local institution. These operated as a hybrid type of convenience store/ ice-cream counter, similar to United Dairy Farmers in the Cincinnati area. At their peak, over thirty Lindner’s were located around Indianapolis. After the bankruptcy of Robert’s, the popular local icons were sold several times until closing for good in 1990.

During the day of the milkman, fresh dairy products would be placed in a box like this that was made of stainless steel or wood. Daily deliveries were necessary due to lack of reliable refrigeration. (Courtesy eBay)

During the day of the milkman, fresh dairy products would be placed in a box like this that was made of stainless steel or wood. Daily deliveries were necessary due to lack of reliable refrigeration. (Image: eBay)

Forget the powder! These are from bottles of real coffee creamer which were part of Robert's home milk delivery service. (Courtesy eBay)

Forget the powder! These are from bottles of real coffee creamer which were part of Robert’s home milk delivery service. (Image: eBay)

This ad from 1986 show's the final days of the Robert's Dairy empire. In 1982 the dairy purchased the chain of Lindner's stores from the namesake family. Robert's declared bankruptcy in 1987 and sold it's milk production operations to the Maplehurst Company. They held on to the stores until being auctioned off in 1988. The Robert's Dairy building remains on Millersville Road near 42nd Street. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

This 1986 ad show’s the final days of the Robert’s Dairy empire. The Robert’s Dairy building remains on Millersville Road near 42nd Street. (Image: Indiana State Library)

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×

Valuing = Supporting

Publishing HI every day is more than just a ’labor of love‘ (though we do love it), but takes hundreds of hours each month to create. If you are entertained, inspired, better informed, feel more connected with Indy or just value what you discover here, please consider becoming a supporting member with a recurring monthly donation.

Or, become a one-time supporter with a single donation in any amount you choose.

More old-fashioned? Checks or money orders may be sent to:
Historicindianapolis.com at P.O. Box 2999, Indianapolis, IN 46206

Thank you and HI-5! Love, The HI Team

About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

Leave a Comment