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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thank Al Capone for the Date on Your Milk

You always think that date on the milk came from some company who thought it was a great idea to let people know when their milk was going to spoil. And that date is pretty accurate and once it expires your milk goes sour. What most people don't know is that you can thank Public Enemy #1 for keeping your kids milk from tasting like the inside of an old shoe. Al Capone aka Bottles is the man who thought it would be a good idea to put a date on the bottle of milk so mom would know when to buy the milk and if it was going bad the next day.

So how did a gangster in the twenties make this change to bottling milk and just about every other perishable that we now take for granted. Capones bootlegging operation was vast and not only  did he bottle booze and beer he bottled milk. And he remembered as a boy many sour bottles of milk and one thing Capone was and that was inventive. In a different time he might have been a very successful manufacturer or run a corporation. He saw problems and solved them and ran a vast network of breweries, bottling operations and oversaw a transportation network that involved employing thousands.

So he saw it as logical to time stamp a date on a bottle and give a consumer an idea of how old hte milk was. The early dates were just the date of the actual bottling but of course this gave way to what he now have and that is an expiration date. Capone of course would not live to see his legacy in the from of a plastic jug of milk in a supermarket but it is one of the few things that transcend the murder and mayhem we associate with the man who went by the nickname "bottles."

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair



Books by William Hazelgrove