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Photo courtesy of Evan Finch

Business: Polk’s Milk
Year of this Advertisement: pre-1950
Address: 1100 E. 15th St.
Neighborhood: Downtown
What they did: Milk production and delivery
Years of operation: 1872-1950’s
Notable: Legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery once worked at Polk’s Milk
Additionally: Do you remember receiving milk delivery from Polk’s Milk?

To learn more about Polk’s Milk, read last year’s Indianapolis Then and Now: Polk Sanitary Milk Company, 1100 E. 15th Street.

12 responses to “Sunday Adverts: Polk’s Milk”

  1. Diane Roberts Joslin says:

    I remember the milk deliveries! We didn’t get our’s from Polk’s – I think it was Borden’s. It was delivered to an insulated metal box on our front porch – I remember asking my parents why we didn’t get Roberts’ milk (since that was our last name! They were glass bottles and for some reason the bottles were brown glass. That milk always tasted soured to me & to this day I’m not a big fan of drinking milk.

  2. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing! I have a great-uncle who delivered milk for Borden’s here in Indy. 🙂

  3. Kevin J. Brewer says:

    I remember getting milk delivered also in an insulated metal box on our front porch. I think that we got Roberts’, but I also remember Polk’s and Borden’s trucks around our neighborhood.

  4. Jack Boyd says:

    I can’t remember if it was Polk’s or Borden’s or Robert’s Milk, but I recall some milk company delivering our milk from electric trucks sometime in the early 1940s. What struck me was the driver walking back into his truck, remain standing up, then pressing a vertical lever. With a quiet hum the truck took off at a decent crip, the driver still standing! As a 12-year-old boy, I was enormously impressed at this technology. Apparently somebody (possibly an English firm, which specialized in electric trucks) had solved the battery problem that seems to plague our current auto producers.

  5. Kevin J. Brewer says:

    The gasoline-powered milk trucks in our neighborhood (in the 1950s and 60s) were also stand-up driven.

    It is odd how electric trucks seemed to work well in the 1940s and we still have trouble with electric vehicles today.

  6. Sarah says:

    My grandfather delivered milk for Polk, first in a horse drawn wagon and then by regular milk truck, eventually retiring from there….and my Grandmother worked in the office.. I also had two Uncles who delivered milk for Polk.

  7. James Evans says:

    Wow, once again I have a glass Polk’s Milk bottle, it was on 15th street, but for some reason what I remember more then Polk’s Milk was the Omar Bakery, I think, in the same building or close just to the east on 16th “Hey Mom, Here comes the Omar man” red and white sedan delivery trucks

  8. Mike WaRwick says:

    I remember the Polk horse drawn carts coming by our house at 29 east 37th st! The milkman would fill his baskets and enter each house or leave the milk in insulated boxes on front porches. Meanwhile the horse would follow along the street and be ready for him to load up without back tracking! Then when done, take the driver back to the stables while he rested or slept! Now what the best method?

  9. Vicky holman says:

    I had a aunt and uncle as well as a cousin that worked for Polk Milk company in the late 30’s or early 40’s. My cousin was to young and gave them my uncles social security number so he could work there. I also cherish my Polk Milk Bottle.

  10. Jack Boyd says:

    This one’s for Mike WaRwick (is that a typo?) … we lived in an apartment above the Church of Christ at 143 W. 40th St. You were six block away! My mother worked for Lindauer Millinery at 38th and Illinois, and we ate a lot at the Chinese restaurant at 38th & Meridian. What a great neighborhood to grow up in during the 1940s. — Jack Boyd

  11. Bitsy Fitzsimmons says:

    I have fond memories of the Polk’s milkman coming to our house, “out in the country”, at 96th and Spring Mill Road. I think he came twice a week. He carried the milk and cream to the back porch in a metal carrier and then put it into the iconic metal box. I think I even remember a clip on the inside of the lid where we put our order. My favorite bottles were the ones that had the cream on top. The bottles looked like someone had tightened a rubber band around it near the top. We had a little metal ladle that was put into the bottle to hold the milk back while you poured the cream off the top.

    I’m not sure what the occasions might have been, but sometimes he gave out some sort of little toy. Once it was a balloon that when blown up, looked like a clown. You tied it off and then put the knot into a slit in what looked like cardboard clown feet. Those were sure the good old days!!

  12. Larry Doty says:

    I have an all steel ice pick with
    . BALLARD ICE CREAM
    “NONE BETTER”
    On the handle.

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