M2002.70.D04_132-05 | Compliments of Sherbrooke Pure Milk Co. Ltd. - The Dionne Quintuplets

Compliments of Sherbrooke Pure Milk Co. Ltd. - The Dionne Quintuplets
1936, 20th century
27.3 x 42 cm
Gift of Mr. Eddy Echenberg
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Calendar (1)
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Keys to History

Starting in the mid-1920s, stricter oversight of milk quality and the introduction of compulsory pasteurization prompted dairy companies to put greater emphasis on the benefits of milk. Most of their advertising featured infants and young children. In Montreal, the J. J. Joubert Company and the Montreal Dairy increasingly used advertisements showing plump smiling cherubs raised on wholesome pasteurized milk. The women's pages of daily newspapers, women's magazines such as the Revue Moderne, parish newsletters, and concert and theatre programs all carried dairy company advertisements targeting mothers. Some companies adopted a promotional strategy that was even more innovative. Like the Sherbrooke Pure Milk Company, they turned to the big stars of the day, the Dionne quintuplets, to get across their message that pasteurized milk was the best way to ensure a baby's health.

  • What

    The dairy companies' promotional strategies often relied on the distribution of free products to their customers. In 1936 the Sherbrooke Pure Milk Company offered this illustrated calendar free of charge.

  • Where

    With only a few exceptions, the urban dairy industry was dominated by family-run businesses and locally owned public companies until the late 1920s. The Sherbrooke Pure Milk Company was typical of this broader trend: its owners and directors were from Sherbrooke.

  • When

    Founded in 1911, the Sherbrooke Pure Milk Company developed in a manner similar to the big Montreal dairies. It opened a modern new plant in 1930.

  • Who

    Their names were Annette, Émilie, Yvonne, Cécile and Marie. Born in 1934 in a small town in northern Ontario, the identical quintuplets immediately became national and international stars.