Tin, empty, for Cow & Gate Milk Food


Tin, empty, for Cow & Gate Milk Food, compounded dried half cream milk, Cow & Gate Limited, Guildford, Surrey, 1958

Former grocers Charles and Leonard Gates began supplying dried powdered milk intended for consumption by babies in 1903. The first Cow & Gate baby milk product was introduced in 1908, and the company developed specialised infant formulas in the 1930s.

This empty tin of compounded dried half cream milk dating from the 1950s belonged to Maureen Haynes, who breastfed her daughters until they were two. Maureen had inverted nipples and experienced difficulties breastfeeding; like many parents, she supplemented breastfeeds with formula milk and kept this tin as a container for old buttons. Maureen was a follower of American paediatrician Dr Benjamin Spock, who advocated a gentler and more flexible approach to parenting than many of his contemporaries. Dr Spock championed the psychological benefits of breastfeeding, while also providing advice on combination and formula feeding. Breastfeeding rates in the west were in decline during this era, and continuing into toddlerhood was uncommon.


Nursing & Hospital Furnishings
Object Number:
tin - can
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • can - container