This is a capture of the Milk Can on rt 146 in Lincoln R.I. It is long abandoned and slowly rotting away which is a shame. It seems another piece of history is failing.
During the construction of rt 99 in the late eighties and early nineties, the Milk Can was moved from its previous location to a new location about a mile away. Since its move, the Milk Can never reopened.
The Milk Can is significant for its exemplification of aspects of early twentieth century commercial and transportation history. It is a charateristic example of a distinctive and fast-disappearing phase of the first period of automobile-oriented commerce. The Milk Can represents the earliest period of snack food merchandising. Located on a major highway, it was designed to act as a “sign,” and immediate, eye-catching attraction to auto travelers on the Louisquisset Pike. The heyday of such mimetic architecture was in the 1920s and 1930s, and examples are now rare.
The Milk Can's flamboyant form is a good expression of the retailing imperitives of its decade. Unlike the highway-oriented chain fast-food outlets of today, whose proprietors can rely upon nation-wide promotion and advertising to gain the recognition and attention of travelers, the Milk Can’s owner, who built in an era of individual entrepreneurship, required a structure which could demand the motorist’s notice, immediately focus his attention, and act as an advertisement for itself.
Original owner: Charles Plante
Alterations and additions: Canopy 1950, Kitchen ell 1950, and Patio area 1960.
The Louisquisett Pike (Rt 146) was first opened in 1807 and reopened for vehicular traffic in 1928-29. The Milk Can was originally an ice cream stand, built in the shape of a dairyman’s cream can 32 1/2 feet high and 16 feet in diameter.