Did you know that 2% milk was invented by Roy Robertson while working at the Salem Maid Dairy/Creamery in Salem Indiana?
In the 1940s, Audra Qualkinbush, one of the owners of the creamery and a home economics teacher, complained about the chubbiness of some of her students.
Robertson was asked by his boss to perfect a new product that had less butterfat. Skim milk had already been invented, but consumers had no choice between the 3.5 percent milk and the virtually tasteless skim, nicknamed “Blue John” by many country folks because of its watery blue tint.
Robertson worked for more than a year tinkering with how to remove the fat and then replace it with other milk solids so the taste would still please milk lovers. Robertson was never recognized nor did he profit from his invention. Since he never got a patent for his process, other dairies were soon producing his 2 percent milk.
Some older residents may remember buying milk and ice cream directly from the Salem Maid Dairy/Creamery on Water Street.
For more information on Roy and the history of 2% milk be sure to visit the Stevens Memorial Museum on the grounds of the John Hay Center.
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