BROOKFIELD “BABY FACE” MILK BOTTLES
Many collectors around the country see the so-called “BABY FACE” milk bottles while browsing flea markets and antique malls, and confusion arises on just how old these bottles might be, and if they are authentic.
There ARE early, authentic “Baby Face” or “Baby Top” glass milk bottles that were made for a number of dairies in the early 20th century, (most, if not all, of them made by Lamb Glass Company, Mt. Vernon, Ohio). Lamb Glass Company milk bottles typically have an “LG 52” or “L 52” mark on them. There may be a dairy name and city embossed on the front or the base.
HOWEVER, virtually all of the original babyface milk bottles occur in CLEAR (or nearly colorless) glass. If you find a Brookfield “Babyface” type milk bottle in any glass color other than clear (or “off-clear”), you can be sure it is modern reproduction (fake) , and was produced as a decorator or mail-order novelty or “gift shop” item, normally sold empty.
The majority of these repro bottles are found in cobalt blue or pink glass, and have been manufactured within the last 30-40 years or so, most of them apparently from the 1970s, 1980s and/or 1990s. Large numbers of these bottles have been imported into the United States from Asia, principally China.
These bottles are quite beautiful in their own right, and make a great window display, but it is important that collectors understand that they are not true, original milk bottles. Any seller that declares a cobalt blue Brookfield milk bottle to be an old, authentic milk bottle is (either intentionally or accidentally) misrepresenting the piece.
Another type of repro/fake milk bottle which is seen fairly often is the “Thatcher” bottle with an embossed cow on the front. Those are also seen in unusual colors such as pink and yellow amber, and were made in Italy. None of them were intended to be actually used to deliver milk, but are decorator bottles sold through the China Crownford Company in the 1960s/1970s.
NOTE: Generally speaking, during the era of the heaviest use of milk bottles in the United States (typically circa 1910 to 1960) the great majority of milk bottles were made in clear glass to show off the white color of the milk. (A few were made in amber or emerald green). In some other countries around the world, milk bottles have seen common use much later than in the US.
(I might also mention that the Brookfield milk bottles have NO connection whatsoever with the “BROOKFIELD” marked glass electrical insulators that were manufactured by the Brookfield Glass Company).
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