February 15, 2013

Trucks delivered food and other products directly to our Levittown homes

Trucks delivered food and other products directly to our Levittown homes

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 hawking produce. I recall vehicles 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 Man." 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.

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. Many early Levittown kids remember the Blue Bell ice cream truck driven by Cosmo (see photo). He only drove on the north side of Levittown.

After all these years, to me just about nothing tastes better than those scrumptious  Dugan's cupcakes and Good Humor Toasted Almond bars. You must have your favorites, too.

The 2000 photo of Cosmo is courtesy of Marilyn Monsrud Frese, class of 1963. With Cosmo is her granddaughter Samm who is now a high school senior.


Anonymous said...

Patricia Henry Gehrmann '63 wrote: Thanks for sharing, Frank! I loved Cosmo. My family would wait for Cosmo to buy ice cream. Even my relatives from Ct. got to know him.

Tim said...

Good to see these posts again. Thank you!

Jamie Boettger Cole said...

What a treat to come across an old, old picture of Mr. Torrance and Northside Elementary. He was not only my 5th grade teacher, but he loved our class so much, he took our 5th grade class and graduated with us to the 6th grade. Best teacher ever. Our class was 1960/61 and 1961/62. Some of his students in his class were Ellie Vichnis, Kenny Eriksen, Bill Koch, and, of course me. After school, he let us play records, have pantomime (now known as karaoke) contests, and just have fun. We were all graduates of DAHS, 1969.

I grew up on Restful Lane; my husband grew up on Long Lane. We both were confirmed and married at Levittown Community Church in 1971. I was a member of the LCC youth choir, my mother, Marge, was Youth Director and my dad, Ralph, was an elder and member of the senior choir. I remember the memorial service for Kellum Grant who was killed in Viet Nam. DAHS excused all the members of the youth choir to sing at his memorial service. We sang, "Let There Be Peach On Earth" and "The Lord's Prayer" under the direction on Mrs. Sabo.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reminisce. Levittown was a great, unique town to grow up in.

Jamie Boettger Cole

Truck Transportation In Toronto said...

Awesome, everyone just loves this. When I was a kid i used to eagerly wait at the door for it. Beautiful memories. Thanks for posting.

Jade Graham said...

Trucks selling various cuisine from seafood and sandwiches to cupcakes and frozen yogurt are becoming regular sights on Bethesda streets everyday of the week. Best Food Truck In LA

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