Sidney began hauling his ‘country-fresh' milk from the farms in the Elgin and Dundee areas to Chicago in 1857. He later partnered with his brother to form the Wanzer Dairy in Chicago.
They pioneered the use of glass milk bottles, scientific testing to determine the butterfat content of milk, mechanical refrigeration for milk storage and applied the pasteurization process invented by Louis Pasteur to kill bacteria in milk.
Sidney Wanzer & Sons' main plant was at Garfield Boulevard (55th Street) at the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago along with two other southside plants. Wanzer also had a north-side distribution center on Lawrence Avenue between Ravenswood and Wolcott.
Wanzer had ten children: Luna, Bertha E., William Bradley, Bessie, Howard Hill, Sidney, Jennie L., Breddie, Arthur Grant and Charles. They all lived in Chicago.
In November of 1948, Wanzer Dairy began publishing the "Wanzer's Kitchen Adventures" magazine, which was stories and recipes using milk, cream and other Wanzer products. The magazines last issue was April 1951.
Carmelita Pope (A Broadway Theater actress and a pioneer in early television) did TV commercials for Wanzer Dairy. She would hold up a 1/2 gallon carton of milk and say "Wanzer on milk is like Sterling on silver".
Northshore Milk Distribution Wanzer Truck after the blizzard of 1967.
Photo by Charles Chernawsky
Wanzer was sold to Borden's Milk in the 1970s. In April of 1999, Hawthorn Mellody Inc. tried to Trademark "Wanzer Dairy," but they failed to complete the request.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
|Wanzer Dairy Toy 1953 Ford Milk Truck.|
|Wanzer Milk Box - Holds 4 One Gallon Glass Bottles, 1966|
Wanzer Glass Milk Gallon, 1950s. & 100 Year Anniversary Paper Milk Carton, 1957.