Carnation has been a part of my life for over fifty years. However, our family history goes back much further, as my maternal great grandmother was a distant relative to Elbridge A. Stuart who founded Carnation in 1899.
Ironically, my dad Don Liudahl, started work for Carnation in the fresh milk division in 1955 as a route salesman in Salem, Oregon. Carnation, looking to cut costs in the early 1970's, began selling their product through distributors in certain areas. In the early 70's, my dad became the distributor of Carnation Milk in the Salem area until Carnation bought back the business and equipment a number of years later. Dad continued working for Carnation managing the local "plant" until his health forced his eventual retirement. I worked for my dad for several years, delivering milk and ice cream in a truck similar to the one above to wholesale accounts. Milk trucks have been part of my life since I was a toddler, so I have a weak spot for them and collect toy milk trucks as well as Carnation memorabilia today. My brother Stuart is still in the dairy business and shares those same passions. Who knows, maybe someday we'll restore an old milk truck together.
Carnation was purchased by Nestle in 1985 and sold the fresh milk division not too long after that. By that time the fresh milk division was struggling for profitability and never having been the money producer that other divisions of the company (evaporated milk, dry foods, pet food, etc.) Beside fresh milk and ice cream, you don't see the Carnation brand much anymore on any of the products that are still being produced by Nestle. Sadly, the red and white Carnation milk trucks drive the streets of America no more. Today, they continue on in our memory of what was once a leading producer and name associated with fine dairy products on our table.
This site is intended to take you back to a time when the guys like my dad brought you milk door to door. Enjoy!
This site is not affiliated with Carnation, Nestle or any of their brands. It is intended only for reference and the entertainment and enjoyment of site visitors.