Advert for the West Suffolk Dairy Company
Printer: Reeves, Davis
Medium: Print on paper
In the 19th century, London was full of cowsheds with small shops attached, from which milk and other dairy produce was sold. The conditions in which the cows were kept was often appalling. Tethered in small dark stalls, with no freedom of movement, the animals were often unhealthy and the milk they produced was of poor quality. Dung was regularly left in the street when the stalls were being cleaned out.
Despite these conditions, and a growing concern for animal welfare generally in British society, the last cowkeeper's shop in London did not close until 1953. By this time, dairy stores such as this were common throughout the country, with better quality milk being transported by rail direct from farms to shops.