|Kolton Olson added|
Update: a video of a dairy back when milk was delivered with cans rather than bulk milk trucks. First they unload them. Do they weigh and sample each can or a batch of all the cans that came from one farm? The later would require some sort of marking and more careful placement in the box car of the "milk run" trains. Then you can see them putting the cans in and out of the washer. I wish someone would narrate it. I can guess what some of the equipment is. For example, I think the big round tank with a lid is a pasteurizer. I was surprised to see that a dairy would have a lathe.
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This shows that they do keep track of which cans came from which farm.
At 1:03 in this video, you can see someone pulling a cart with at least three milk cans getting ready to put them on the arriving train.
Photographer F. J. Bandholts captured this panoramic view of the Keokuk Union Depot in 1907. The photo shows
how the Depot is situated between the Mississippi River and the bluff. Image from Library of Congress [Note the milk cans being loaded into the baggage area of the first car of the passenger train. It looks like there is a baggage cart full of cans at the corner of the depot and two horse&wagons half full of milk cans. It appears it would take longer to handle the milk cans during the train's stop at the depot than it would to unload and load passengers. There is also a baggage cart next to the tender that is full of packages. Remember, this is the era of catalog stores, not big box retail stores. They would have to carefully pack the baggage compartment in the car to hold all of those packages and cans. And this is just one stop that the train would be serving.]