Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Lactart (acid of milk) was a popular beverage flavoring produced by the Avery Lactate Company of Boston beginning in the early 1880s and was available in Middleborough at local grocers like Lucas & Bliss. It could also be found on draft at B. F. Tripp's candy store. Made from the lactic acid in milk, Lactart had a sour or acidic taste and was used as a natural drink flavoring in place of lemons or limes. As a product derived from milk, it was considered an ideal flavoring for dairy-based drinks. Alternatively, Lactart could also be drunk simply with water and sugar in place of lemonade.
Lactart was also sold by druggists since the Avery Company touted it as a “healthful, invigorating, delicious” remedy and marketed it as a digestive aid “especially useful in dyspepsia, biliousness, nervous depression, wakefulness, headache, and all ills arising from a disordered stomach”. Lactart was also claimed to both prevent and relieve cholera, sunstroke, fevers, cold, coughs or croup, urinary difficulties and seasickness.
Although Lactart may sound unappealing today, it is in fact experiencing somewhat of a revival, being used in vintage drinks and sodas.
Lactart Trade Card, Avery Lactate Company, Boston, MA, c. 1885
Lactart advertisement, Lucas & Bliss, Middleboro News, December 17, 1886.
Lactart advertisement, B. F. Tripp, Middleboro News, December 17, 1886.