Glass Parka

Some relics of the gold rush are still alive and well today. The following article is about an advertising campaign for Carnation Evaporated Milk in which a can of the milk is shown inside an empty quart-sized glass milk bottle.

Fairbanks Daily News Miner- April 2, 1924


Some clever advertising man has slipped a glass parka on the “Klondike Cow,” as many old timers call the red-and-white labeled can of Carnation milk. The old friend of sourdough and cheechako alike, is now being introduced to the world as a “quart of milk” and this illustrative idea of the “can-in-bottle” makes it very plain how the contents of the can diluted to its original consistency will overflow the quart bottle.

Carnation Milk first sprang into popularity in Alaska at the time of the gold rush. E. A. Stuart, president of the Carnation Milk Products company, started manufacturing it near Seattle in 1899 and stampeders to the Northland soon began including it among their supplies.

During the years that followed it formed the milk supply for most of the families in the Territory, and the tin can with the bright colored wrapper around it was much more familiar to Alaskans than the glass milk bottle which is used with it in the illustration.

From the little plant which Mr. Stuart started at Kent, Washington, has grown a vast business operating 38 condensaries and using 85, 000,000 gallons of milk a year. Carnation milk is known and used from Nome to Timbuktu. Its empty cans have marked strange trails in many lands and it is a household necessity in millions of homes, but one of the chapters in its history which is the most interesting is that which deals with the opening of Alaska when it was also a pioneer in the winning of the North.

Note: In 1985 the Nestle company purchased Carnation for 3 billion dollars, and the Carnation brand continues to be available on our grocery shelves today. The next time you open a can, you will have a new appreciation for this true Alaskan pioneer product! This condensed history nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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