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Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company

In 1866, the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company was founded by the American consul in Zurich, Charles Page, who had witnessed the success of Gail Borden’s condensed milk business in the United States. They manufactured their product in Switzerland, where large supplies of milk existed, but intended it for England. In 1881, the company opened a plant in Middletown, New York. Soon Anglo-Swiss competed successfully with Borden.

A trade card for the firm, printed in London, illustrates that American and British efforts at merchandizing processed foods were similar.


Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co. (Cham, Switzerland), c. 1870–1900. Chromolithographed trade card, (3 1/8 x 4 ½ in). Printed by R. Ganton, Litho, London.

Below the image, a few lines of dialogue explain the scene:

A Lucky Thought.
Young Lady:—‘Will you please let me have a pot of cold cream?’
Country Shopkeeper (after some hesitation and search):—‘Ah! Beg pardon, miss; I find we have not any cold cream just at present; but we have some excellent condensed milk.’

The text emphasizes that grocers have in mind the best interests of the companies with which they do business: he promises that Anglo-Swiss condensed milk is of the highest quality and reminds the customer (and the viewer of the card) that unlike fresh cream, it is always available. The image shows potential patrons that because it comes in stackable cans, which are displayed prominently on the counter, condensed milk is also easier to transport and store at home.


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