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By Frank Barning
Most moms were house bound in the early days of
Levittown. As a rule, families had only one car and dad drove it to work.
It was a huge help to the homemaker, known as "the little woman" in those days, that trucks delivered food and other products directly to her door. John Kinstrey, class of 1961, remembers a truck selling produce. I recall vehicles (many from Renken) selling milk, cream and butter. Borden's did a lot of business from its trucks. Milk came in glass, returnable bottles. On extremely cold days, milk would freeze and pop out of the top of the bottle, through the paper cap.
Bakery goods were peddled by Dugan's and Krug trucks. My mother, who had an off-beat sense of humor, referred to the bakery trucks as Krugan's. One of them had wonderful cupcakes. I can remember peeling off and devouring the delicious icing before eating the glorious yellow cake. The Dugan's cupcakes came with either chocolate, vanilla or strawberry icing, and the jellyrolls and coffee cakes were real treats.
If she wanted Dugan's to stop, mom put a D in a front window. There even were Dugan's toy trucks for sale, which I do not remember, but have seen offered on the internet.
Fuller Brush men vigorously worked the thousand lanes of
Levittown. According to Wikipedia, "During the 1940s and 1950s, the ubiquitous Fuller Brush salesman became a cultural icon, inspiring comedy and jokes, movies, and at least one song." There was a 1948 movie starring Red Skelton called 'The Fuller Brush " The company is still in business and has kept up with the times, offering environmentally safe cleaning products that are nontoxic and biodegradable. I have no idea if they still have salesmen trudging door to door. Man.
Since our homes were heated by oil, trucks delivered our fuel. Meenan Oil seemed to have a virtual monopoly and its big green trucks appeared to be everywhere in the winter. I can still smell the stench emitted by the big hose that poured out the precious black gold. The company is still in business
And, of course,
Levittown had a virtual parade of ice cream trucks in warm weather. Bungalow Bar was my favorite, many preferred Good Humor, and there were lesser known brands that made a profit primarily on the personality of the driver. Midge Bollinger, class of 1960, remembers the Blue Bell ice cream truck driven by Cosmo. He only drove on the north side of Levittown.
After all these years, just about nothing tastes better than those scrumptious Dugan's cupcakes and Good Humor Toasted Almond bars. After a Google search, it was learned that Toasted Almond bars are still being manufactured by Good Humor. Walmart and other retailers stock them. Hey, it's time to go shopping.