Department: Archives

Archives: All Bottled Up

Archives: All Bottled Up

Like many building restorations, the Temple Renovation Project has yielded a few surprises. When exploratory holes for a new HVAC system were drilled into a sealed-attic crawlspace above the Peace Chapel, workers found these two milk bottles. Left behind by the workmen who built the Temple, they have been sealed in the crawlspace behind three layers of brick since 1930.

The bottle on the right is from the Wieland Dairy, founded by Jacob Wieland, who emigrated from Germany in 1889. By the late 1920s, the company had grown significantly and produced milk, ice cream, cottage cheese and other dairy products. In the 1930s, it was just one of many regional dairies purchased by Borden Dairy Co.

The bottle on the left is from Johnson Dairy Company. Johnson proudly bottled its milk on the far west side of Evanston and was only in business for a few short years from about 1925-1930.

These milk bottles are the only personal objects in the collection that directly connect us with the lives of the craftsmen and laborers who built the Temple. Seeing a new generation of highly skilled workmen around the building gives us a new appreciation for these men.

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