I grew up in a rural part of northern England. My grandmother owned a farm and I remember seeing lots of these milk churns. As I recall (perhaps imperfectly) she would milk the cows, some of whom were quite aggressive – I recall one of them kicking her, and the milk would end up in these churns. Then someone from the dairy would come to pick them up.

I haven’t seen one for years.

The churn bears the name Bordens, which Wikipedia describes as follows:

Bordens was an American producer of food and beverage products, consumer products, and industrial products. At one time, the company was the largest U.S. producer of dairy and pasta products. Its food division, Borden Foods, was based in Columbus, Ohio, and focused primarily on pasta and pasta sauces, bakery products, snacks, processed cheese, jams and jellies, and ice cream. It was best known for its Borden Ice Cream, Meadow Gold milk, Creamette pasta, and Borden Condensed Milk brands. Its consumer products and industrial segment marketed wallpaper, adhesives, plastics and resins. By 1993, sales of food products accounted for 67 percent of its revenues. It was also known for its Elmer’s Glue and Krazy Glue.

After significant financial losses in the early 1990s and a leveraged buyout by KKR in 1995, Borden divested itself of its various divisions, brands and businesses. KKR shuttered Borden’s food products operations in 2001, and divested all its other Borden operations in 2005. Borden dairy brands are currently used by both Dean Foods and Grupo Lala (as Borden Milk Products) for milk and by Dairy Farmers of America for cheese. As of Jan 2015, Grupo LALA (of Durango, Mexico) is the new owner of all Borden trademarks in the US.

For an interesting short, early history of Borden’s in New York State (particularly it’s relationship to the hamlet of Walkill in Orange County) see: Everyone Knows Elsie: A Short History of the Borden Company on the New York History Blog.

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