Ted Isaacs was a co-op at French Bauer Dairy when they still had horse-drawn milk wagons. The horses are long gone and French Bauer is also gone, but Isaacs is still around for the long haul — and sponsoring essay competitions for the College of Engineering.
|President Zimpher chats with Ted Isaacs at the Herman Schneider Luncheon.|
When young Ted Isaacs was looking at colleges, he considered Purdue and the University of Cincinnati, among others. UC had one definite advantage: co-operative education, where students in certain disciplines are required to spend a specified number of quarters actually working in a company. Ted Isaacs was sold.
“I selected the University of Cincinnati because of the co-op program,” says Isaacs. “That was the deciding factor.”
Isaacs enrolled at UC in 1931. Jobs for everyone at that time were scarce because of the Great Depression, so he was not able to co-op right away. However, in the summer after his sophomore year, Isaacs began his first co-op at French Bauer Dairy. French Bauer at the time was the second-biggest dairy in the city of Cincinnati. (It was sold to Meyer Dairy in 1979.). Isaacs worked for French Bauer for the remainder of his sophomore, his pre-junior and junior years.
Because Isaacs’ family was in the jewelry and pawn shop business, Isaacs had never worked in a factory environment before. So he thought to himself, “Here I go — working out in the factory at French Bauer. That was an education in itself.”
|A milk truck on its way to French Bauer Dairy from the dairy farm. (Courtesy of Cincinnati Museum of History)|
In 1906, physicians in Cincinnati established a milk commission, which called for a national conference to be held on June 3, 1907, in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City meeting established the American Association of Medical Milk Commissions. One concern of the association was the number of infants who died from severe diarrhea, or “summer complaint” (identified also in historical documents as being cholera or severe gastroenteritis). “Summer complaint” sounds trivial, but its effects were deadly. Doctors often pointed their fingers at milk that had not been kept cool.
|A French Bauer horse-drawn milk wagon in 1929. (Courtesy of Cincinnati Museum of History)|
During Isaacs’ co-op years of 1932–36, French Bauer phased out their horse-drawn milk wagons and turned to motorized vehicles to make the home deliveries.
|French Bauer milk trucks. (Courtesy of Cincinnati Museum of History)|
Interestingly enough, Carl H. Lindner Sr. made his mark on the Cincinnati dairy world in 1938 by offering dairy products on a “cash-and-carry” basis in his store in Norwood. Because he had no delivery costs, he could offer his milk and dairy products at discounted prices. Is it surprising, then, that United Dairy Farmers is the only locally owned dairy left in Cincinnati?
|Like many others, Isaacs registered with the Selective Service in 1940.|
“I got … a liberal arts background, which a lot of engineers should have and don’t,” says Isaacs. “The teachers were great with me.” He remembers one English professor in particular, Dr. William C. Boyce. Most people have heard of “Boyce” only as an award given by the English department yearly for excellence in teaching. But before Boyce was an award, he was a great teacher, according to Isaacs.
“I went to Dr. Boyce [and said], ‘When you assign a descriptive paragraph…I want to describe my work in the oil refinery, not just trees or birds,’” says Isaacs. “He fell right in with that.”
“William C. Boyce taught at UC from the late 20s until the late 60s,” says English associate professor Jim Hall. “I knew him during the last two years of his teaching career. He was a true eccentric and much beloved (and joked about) by his students. …He wasn’t a publishing scholar but was a treasury of information and seemed to have read everything.”
Isaacs also remembers two other professors distinctly: “Dr. Carlson — sociology — walked into class and said, ‘Sociology is the study of things everybody knows in words [that] nobody understands.’” That definition has some ring of truth still today.
Isaacs studied poetry under Dr. Clark. In fact, in 2003, Isaacs self-published a book of poetry, called Purple and Gold. Who knows if Dr. Clark would be proud? Here’s an excerpt from “Footprints”:
At my old school U of Cincinnati
I have endowed a prize paper contest.
Those students will receive prize money,
Who in the S. Ted Isaacs contest were best.
Because of these things someone may ask,
Who was this Ted Isaacs anyway?
In a dusty old issue of Who’s Who
My footprint will exist to that day.