Muller Dairies, Inc., 470 West 128th St., New York


Muller Dairies has it’s origins with John Herman Muller who, according to his obituary in the April 3, 1928 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, was a well known dairyman. He was born in Germany in 1874 and lived in the United States for 40 years.

According to census records, in 1900 he was a clerk in his father’s grocery store where he remained through at least 1905. In the 1909 NYC Directory he’s listed as milk at 557 West 42nd Street and the 1910 census lists him as a milkman with his own milk wagon. Around 1916 he moved to 513 West 55th Street and by the mid 1920’s the business was located at 617-619 West 46th Street.

It’s not clear what happens immediately after his death but by March 1930 the business was called Muller Dairies Inc., and was a subsidiary of the National Dairy Products Corporation.  In 1933, the NYC Directory listed Muller Dairies, Inc. as a NY corporation with William Jordan as president and Edward N Miller as vice president. They were still located at the West 46th Street address. Sometime before 1940 the business moved to 470 West 128th Street and was still listed there in 1948.

In the mid-1930’s Muller was caught in a scheme to purchase its fluid milk requirements lower than the prices fixed by the New York State Division of Milk Control. The scheme shifted plants from one subsidiary to another within the National Dairy Corporation and resulted in Muller receiving milk classified as surplus, instead of fluid, which enabled them to pay a lower price. This, according to various newspaper accounts, cost the milk producers over $17,000. during April 1935, or at the rate of over $200,000. per year.

470 West 128th Street was originally part of the Yuengling Brewery complex that had frontages on Amsterdam Avenue as well as West 126th, 127th and 128th Streets. During National Prohibition, the buildings within the complex were adapted for other uses, including a dairy (Clover Farms was located at 470 West 128th Street in the mid – 1920’s). Horton’s Brewing Company returned the Youngling complex back to a brewery once Prohibition ended but 470 West 128th was one of two buildings that continued as non-brewery. Today it looks like the building has just recently been demolished.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart with the 470 West 128th Street address embossed on it. This dates it to the mid to late 1930’s at the earliest.