Can you guess what this is? If you guessed a milk door, you’re correct! Milk doors (also called milk chutes) were common at one point because, as you probably already know, milkmen used to deliver glass bottles of milk right to the house. They’re usually found in houses and apartment buildings that were constructed before World War II. Milk was delivered a couple times a week as a way to make sure it was fresh. Home refrigeration started improving during the middle of the 20th century and milkmen started slowly becoming obsolete.
Nowadays, you don’t see them very often because they were removed during home remodels. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what they were when you run across them. A lot of times they’ve been painted over on the inside of a house. And because they’ve been ignored for decades, they’re usually pretty beat up looking when they’re discovered. It’s no wonder so many people want to close them off or wall them in. But we love them! It’s a great way to keep in touch with a building’s past and celebrate something that’s rare.
Finding these is especially fun these days because, really, we’re kind of going back to the way things were. More and more people are having groceries, meals, clothing, products—just about everything—delivered to the home again. It seems new in this technological age but it’s actually old school. Milk chutes are cool reminder that things have come full circle!