Massive Milk Bottle Collection Begins with Personal Connection

December 27, 2016 01:30 PM

There was a time when milk came in a glass bottle, and each dairy had its own unique shape and logo on the container. Now, those bottles are a collector’s item.

To pass the time healing from a back injury, Ed Larson started looking for a glass milk bottle from his family’s first farm on E-Bay.

“Then I started finding some Evansville bottles, then I started Rock County, Southern Wisconsin, but then it got to be where I was buying any bottle from the state,” said Larson.

One bottle turned into a significant collection that occupies two rooms in the upstairs quarters of the farm office.

“Once I couldn’t find milk bottles to buy, I started buying butter churns and ice cream stuff,” said Larson. “It moved onto some equipment and the machines, hand machines and stuff like that.:

Now the basement of the facility is filled with artifacts that tell the story of Wisconsin’s great agricultural and dairy heritage.

For Larson, it’s not simply a hobby, but a way to learn about the past.

“It’s the people you meet, and it’s what you learn,” said Larson. “I’ve learned more in the last three years that I did in my first 60.”

Larson now hopes to turn that fun into a visitor’s center where tour groups can learn about the past while also visiting a modern family dairy farm.

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