Saturday, June 13, 2009

history: Williams Dairy

Williams Dairy bottle

I was preparing for fire season by weed-whacking the yard today, and came across a buried bottle. It's from the Williams Dairy in Oakland, but I can't find much out about it. The format of the phone number, OL2-2816, suggests a date somewhere between the 40s and 60s. Googling suggests the exchange name was OLympic, and was probably north Oakland somewhere. Beyond that, I'm drawing a blank. Anyone know anything about it?

5 comments:

highprairiedog said...

Hey Gene,
I'm old enough (57) to remember our milk being delivered by Williams Dairy when I lived in the Fruitvale District. (I'm also old enough to remember the alpha-numeric phone numbers!) think the dairy was in the vicinity of Aileen & Grove (now MLK). My father-in-law used to do a lot of their printing.
As an Oakland ex-pat. for the last 36 years, I enjoy your site, especially the sign series. It takes me back.

Gene said...

At 43, I remember alpha-numeric phone numbers, too. At my grandparents' house in Michigan, their phone list was written that way, and I still remember the number to a family cabin starting with "JUneau 6". Thanks for the info on Williams Dairy. I got some more from the Oakland Library that I'll post about soon. What was your father-in-law's printing company? Is it still around?

janet mack said...

My dad was a milkman for Williams from the early 1950s until they closed in 1974. The location was on Telegraph Avenue (I think 1600, but I'll have to check) on the east side of the street. A few blocks south is the freeway overpass and then the Nordic House on the west side. In the 1970s we also had milk delivered in the metal box with ice but my dad (who passed away a few years ago) said that earlier on the drivers had keys to everyone's houses. Imagine that today! The trucks had ice because they were not refrigerated, meaning that the guys who worked "inside" had to load all of that ice into the trucks in the morning.

Unknown said...

My Dad worked at Williams Dairy, I remember him bringing home milk, we was the talk of the town lol All the neighbor kids loved coming to our house and drinking the chocolate milk.. I was able to get a Williams Dairy milk bottle off ebay when I was on vacation my husband accidentally broke it :(.... My dads best friend worked there also his name was Cliff Mayes, he's since passed away, my dad is still alive if anyone needs any info, that's if he can remember lol...

Kirk Weir said...

We lived in Walnut Creek and had the same milk man from Williams Dairy for years (until the early 70's IIRC).
He always called my brothers and I "pal". I miss the glass bottles with the cardboard tops.