Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/647

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THE MILK SUPPLY OF CITIES.

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THE MILK SUPPLY OF CITIES.
By Prof. H. W. CONN.

THE ever-growing needs of civilized communities constantly demand new methods. At the time when the streets of Boston may have been the actual cow paths which we are sometimes told they represent, the milk problem did not exist. Every farmer owned his cows, and if some of the people in the small communities did not happen to own a cow there were plenty of these animals in their neighborhood to furnish them with milk. But as our cities have grown the farmer has been pushed back farther and farther into the country, while the demand for milk in the cities has been constantly increasing. The man of the city can no longer call upon his neighbor for milk, but must depend upon some unknown farmer living perhaps many miles away. In England the farmer still lives somewhat close to the city, and as soon as one passes the city limits he begins to find the fields and meadows covered with cows. London and Berlin draw their immense milk supply chiefly from a radius of seventy-five miles. In the United States, however, the farmer does not live so close to the cities, and the demand for milk is even greater than in Europe. Our cities must therefore depend upon a wider range of territory. New York draws its milk from a radius of some three hundred miles. It is easy to see that with such conditions many new problems have arisen. These problems, so far as they concern the obtaining of a sufficient quantity and the transportation and preservation of the milk, have, from a business standpoint, been pretty satisfactorily solved. The milk-supply companies succeed in obtaining a sufficient supply at all seasons of the year, and get it into the city in such a manner that when delivered to the consumer, even though it be forty-eight hours old, it is in tolerably good condition. But it is beginning to appear that the problem, as concerns the consumer, is a somewhat serious one, and that this problem has not yet been solved, nor is it likely to be solved unless the consumer himself takes a direct interest in it.

The problem of the milk supply in the smaller cities is quite different from that of our larger cities. In the smaller cities, even those with populations of one hundred thousand, there may be commonly found a number of milkmen who bring into the city the milk from their own farms and personally distribute it. Such a business is a small one, and the dealer and the producer may be held directly responsible for the quality of the milk. In large cities, however, the business is very different. The individual milk dealer who brings in milk from his own farm has almost disappeared,