Who was the Chocolate Milk Man?

The name Leidy D. Zern is unfamiliar to the Maryland campus, but perhaps it shouldn’t be.  As a graduate student here in the late 1920s, Zern worked with Professor Richard Munkwitz and discovered a process for making chocolate milk.  This process was so unique that Messrs. Zern and Munkwitz patented the process in 1932.

Recently a family member of Leidy Zern contacted the Archives with a request: an image of their relative, who tragically died young and left behind no photographs of himself that the family had ever found.  Just who was the Chocolate Milk Man?

Through materials found in the Archives’ collections, we traced Mr. Zern from the Maryland campus back to his undergraduate years at Penn State.  There, as a member of the Class of 1927, we solved the mystery:

Leidy D. Zern, 1927

 Image courtesy of Penn State University Archives.  Our thanks to PSU Archivist Jackie Esposito for her help in solving the mystery.

Anyone with an interest in seeing the papers regarding the patent can contact us. To view the patent itself, click here, or on the picture of Mr. Zern, whose tasty tale makes him another of our distinguished alumni.

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