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Who Remembers…Top Seven (Almost) Forgotten Services?

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Here is another installment in our Who Remembers? series. You can browse previous articles by using the search bar on the right or by clicking here. These articles are strolls down memory lane. In some cases the buildings are still there, but new businesses have replaced them. In other instances, the buildings or even the properties have been razed. Instead of a building, it may be a TV show, personality, or commercial that no one longer exists. Either way, it can’t stop us from taking the Memory Lane stroll!

There are very few places where one can get their shoes shined! (returntomanliness.com)

As always we would rather this be a discussion. No one knows this area better than those who grew up here! Please, leave constructive criticism, feedback, and corrections. We’d love to hear your anecdotes. Please share!


How fun it is to wax nostalgic about things gone past. To pore over images that evoke vivid memories and often powerful emotions. I’ve often not thought even passively about something, yet the mere mention of it or a glimpse of a photo brings back a flood of memories – taking me right back to the very timeline when they were commonplace. It’s as close to time traveling as we have, isn’t it?

I have so many things I would positively love to share, but sadly we lack the images. Scores of articles would have passed if I had pictures to accompany them. Alas, recalling days of old is much harder to do without images to serve as a mnemonic device – there isn’t a more powerful and effective method of recall. Hint, hint! If you have pictures of greater New Bedford’s past, please consider sharing them with us, so we can offer many more of these strolls down memory lane.

In the past – pardon the pun – we have discussed landmarks, images and occupations that have been (almost) forgotten. This time around I’d like to share some services that have been almost forgotten. Of course, being 44 years old, there are services that have I never even heard of, or simply weren’t a part of growing up. That doesn’t mean you can’t share yours. By all means, do so!

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About Joe Silvia

When Joe isn't writing, he's coaching people to punch each other in the face. He enjoys ancient cultures, dead and living languages, cooking, benching 999#s, and saving the elderly, babies and puppies from burning buildings. While he enjoys long walks on the beach, he will not be your alarm clock, because he's no ding-a-ling.

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8 comments

  1. My grandfather Thomas Hartnett was a milkman in Westport/Fall River before WWII ( Read Dairy?) . That is how he met my grandma , Marie Antoinette Antaya. He drove fast. She never looked before crossing from the factory. He nearly hit her. They swore in French and English. Married 42 years, death do they part.
    My father Richard Proulx was my mother’s ( Patricia Hartnett) paperboy before they met. So much for social media! Good jobs for their time.

  2. I seem to remember in the early 50’s the milk bottles having paper tops. In the winter the bottles would freeze and break on our back porch. In first grade with Miss Webb the milk bottles had pull up tabs to insert your straw. (1956)

  3. Remember every one of these things! Early 60’s, used to be a milkman for Salvadors Dairy in Dartmouth MA. The ice cream stand is still operational in the summer! Very popular place! At that time, all the ice cream was made at the dairy!

  4. Worked on a Gulf Hill Dairy milk truck on Saturday (5AM-1PM) schlepping milk bottles up tenements for just $2 ($.25/hr) and a few containers of chocolate milk. I’m both ashamed I got so little and proud of my work ethic. Luckily I had a Standard-Times paper route too.

    The corner drug store fountain got a lot of my earned money, places like Lincoln Drugs in the north end. I was very fond of the Lime Rickey’s there.

  5. I remember all of those. In addition; the rag man who came around in horse drawn Cart to collect rags, egg delivery, coal delivery, grocery delivery from neighborhood market, house deliveries from Cushmans Bakery. Good old times

    • Can’t forget the “pony boy” who traveled the streets and offered ice cream and creamsicles and popsicles and we got to pet the pony, to boot. Also the ” ice man” who delivered the ice and would chip off a chunk for us kids to eat and cool off in the summer.

  6. Still get my milk delivered in glass bottles. from Munroe Dairy out of Rhode Island

  7. When I was a kid living in North Fairhaven, we had milk delivered by Gulf Hill Dairy. He was almost part of the family. He’d leave glass bottles from his wire bottle rack in the box by the front door. I remember in colder winter days, the milk would freeze and would lift the cap off the bottle. We would get two different types of bottles depending on whether my mother ordered plain milk or milf with cream. The cream would rise to the top of this oddly shaped bottle and you would use this plunger devise to push into the bottle and seal the smaller opening under the main opening and pour off the cream.

    We also had the old man we called “The Rag Man” who would push a cart up and down the streets calling out “rags!”. Never knew his name or anything else about him, except for his gravelly, hoarse voice.

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