Since his retirement in 1995, bob has actively collected pre W.W.2 Canadian School readers, brass letter openers and Big Little Books. While he does have an extensive collection of each of these, his main passion has been collecting milk bottles and related dairy memorabilia. The milk bottle collection focuses on the four western provinces, with Alberta and Saskatchewan predominating. The enjoyment of the search still keeps Bob on the look out for additional items. For the last several years, his interest has turned more to the history of the dairies that used the bottles, the cream cans, or the crates. Or issued the calendars and promotional items. His research into the history has led to the publishing of several books. The first in July 2002 was “The Milk Bottles of Edmonton City Dairy.” It was simply intended to share details of his collection with others.
Ice Cream Clocks
Many dairies used ice cream clocks to promote their product.
That effort led to a revised and enlarged second edition in April 2004. The new edition added considerable information about the bottles, more historical data on ECD, more pictures, a much expanded section on the dairy go with’s; an update on the big milk bottle, and information on ECD’s advertising. It also included considerable material from the collections of others.( Third edition-2015)
Bob’s newest book, “Dairies of Edmonton” centers on a listing of the 134 dairies that delivered milk in Edmonton from 1905 — 1955. He uses that time period since it is the “milk bottle era”; the period in which dairies used bottles with their names on them. Where the data is available, Bob includes brief historical sketches for the dairies, and related pictures. A lengthy chapter in the book deals with “artifacts left behind.” It provides notes and pictures about milk bottles, milk tickets and tokens, milk bottle tops, ice cream clocks, calendars, other go-with’s, and sample pictures of “dairy paper.”( Second edition-2015)
After this new book arrived from the printer, Bob took a two week break, then announced that he was starting work on his next project, “The Milk Bottles of Alberta.” It was published in 2006.(See also Milk bottles of Alberta Vol. 2,Second edition and the March, 2016 supplement to both Vols.)