I get ridiculously happy when I find a photo of a milk machine, like this one on Ridge Road in Lackawanna from 1989. The machine was likely owned and served by Beres’ Dairy, which was on Abbott Rd. between Leonard and Meadowbrook.
It’s not the clearest or the highest resolution photo around, but isn’t it amazing to think about how milk vending machines were everywhere around the City of Buffalo?
Sometime soon, the memory of these once ubiquitous devices will be reduced to overly-nostalgic posts like this one, which will also recall the orange drink which sometimes would get kicked out the machine a little bit frozen, just like the milk.
This is a scene that played itself out over and over on streets all over Buffalo for much of the 20th century.
It was tough to walk a block or two without hitting a neighborhood tavern or a milk machine.
Though far fewer in number, of course there are still neighborhood gin mills, but the milk machines have gone away.
The machines began popping up in the city in the mid-1950’s. By the mid-1990s, the milk machines were all but extinct, with the last ones gone just after 2000.
The one I remember more than any other was next to B-kwik on Seneca Street, across from St. Teresa’s. The milk machine stood outside against what was the back wall of B-kwik– That spot was built out and is now Tim Hortons.
Although Grandma Coyle, who lived a block away on Hayden Street, had milk delivered from the milk man, occasionally she’d still have me go buy more from the milk machine. Grandma Cichon, who lived further down Seneca, would send me to Fay’s in the old Twin Fair Plaza to buy milk. It was cheaper there, but i can also remember having to take back a carton or two because it was expired.