Arthur McClain and a Milk Pail, maybe 1920-ish

Many of you will recognize Grandpa Arthur McClain in this photo. (If not, he’s on the left.)

I don’t have any information about where this is, when the photo was taken or why, or who the other people are. The photo is mounted on a cabinet card type of backing (but not the size of a cabinet card), so this hints that it probably dates to the early 1920s or before.

My speculation is that this photo is somehow connected with the cream route Grandpa had in the early years after the family moved to Tallman.

Mom explained the cream route this way:

When I was seven years old, my father heard of a small place that could be bought at Tallman. Along with the place came the job of a cream route. The farmers would separate the milk and put the cream in a five-gallon can. My father would gather it up twice a week and take it to the Albany Creamery where it was made into butter. At first he had a horse and wagon. Later he had a truck. The last truck he had was a wooden bed in the back of a roadster, which was more comfortable for the family to ride in. What ended the delivery route was the condensary which came to town in the late 1920’s. Then the farmers could sell the milk whole without separating it.

I believe the containers in front of the man with the child are cream containers used for transport to the creamery.

Possibly this is a photo of the milking crew at one of the farms where Grandpa picked up cream. Just wild speculation.

Despite the dearth of information about this photo, it is nevertheless an interesting window into a particular time in history.

I believe there may be some photos in the archives of Grandpa on the cream route. I’ll try to find those and post them sometime soon.