Ice Cream History
© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright
TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved.
This web site may
not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission and appropriate
credit given. If you quote any of
the history information contained below for research in writing a
magazine or newspaper article, school work or college research,
and/or television show production, you must give a reference to the
author, Linda Stradley, and to the web site What's Cooking
For a detailed history of the following individual types of ice cream, click on the underlined:
Ice Cream "Brain Freeze."
What is it?
Brain freeze, known to al true ice cream aficionados, stabs the forehead like a migraine. In fact, one scientific group recently proposed that it could be a model for studying this class of headaches.
What Causes It?
The key is to eat your ice cream at a lusciously slow
pace. This gives your palate a chance to warm back up before more of the
frozen yumminess can cool things off again. Because this can be
difficult in our rapidly moving lives, science demands that we teat this
like any skill: practice, practice, practice.
Ice Cream Quotes & Trivia
In 1794, ice cream was so
popular in Europe that the famous in Europe that the famous composer, Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827), complained that,
"It is very warm here. The
Viennese are afraid that it will soon be impossible to have any ice cream, for as winter
is mild, ice is rare."
cream had become one of the necessities of life. A party without it would be like a
breakfast without bread or a dinner without a roast."
doubt the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure
with ice cream."
dare not trust our wit
advice to you is not to inquire why or whether, but just to enjoy your ice cream while it
is on your plate - that's my philosophy."
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1935, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt (1933-1945), 32nd President of the United States, publicly confessed that he
liked to have ice cream at least once a day.
Immigrants arriving at Ellis
Island in the 1920s were given food considered "typical" American. But many of
them tried to spread this "frozen butter" on bread when given ice cream.
During World War I (1914-1918),
ice cream played a role as a propaganda tool and morale builder. A German officer, when
asked about America's involvement in the war, said that "We do not fear that
nation of ice cream eaters." After his comment was printed in American
newspapers, it created a lot of response about the frozen treat.
Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982),
already an established movie star in Europe, came to New York in 1939 when she was
twenty-four. She loved hot fudge sundaes so much that she alarmed her American hosts.
The biggest ice cream sundae ever
made was 12 feet high and made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream and 7,000 pounds of
toppings in Anaheim, California during 1985.
During World War II, the Eight Air Force unit chose the Popsicle as a symbol of American life.
Although the exact origins of ice cream have been lost in history, there are many fascinating legends and myths which surround it. Legend and facts meet and sometimes inaccurately become part of the history. Ice houses, ice wells, and ices (drinks made with ice and snow) also seem to get confused. Greek and Latin literature write about the storage of snow and its ancient usage for the cooling of wine and water.
FACT: AntoninCarème(1784-1833), celebrated chef and author, wrote in 1822:
FACT: According to Elizabeth David in her book Harvest of the Cold Months - The Social History of Ice and Ices:
FACT: According to Esther B.Aresty in her 1980 book The Exquisite Table - A History of French Cuisine:
FACT: According to Elizabeth David in her book Harvest of the Cold Months - The Social History of Ice and Ices:
LEGEND and MYTH - Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli opened a coffee shop in Paris called "Le Procope" in 1686 that served beverages and sherbets. The cafe became famous for its large variety of ice cream (more than 80 types of ice cream). He offered a wide variety of iced water or acqua gelata as well as frutta gelata (iced fruits), crema gelata (iced creams) and sorbetto di fragola (strawberry sorbet).
Beverages called water ices were manufactured and dispensed at the Le Procope - not ice cream or sorbet.
History of Ices & Ice Cream
History is often used as a generic term for information about the past. When used as a field of study, history refers to human history, which is the recorded past of human societies. The term "history" comes from the Greek historia, "an account of one's inquiries," and shares that etymology with the English word story. Historians use many types of sources, including written or printed records, interviews (oral history), and archaeology.
For several centuries, the method of producing ice cream depended on a supply of ice. Ice was gathered from ponds and lakes in winter, and stored in ice wells and ice houses. By packing ice into an insulated underground chamber, with adequate drainage ice could be stored for months, sometimes years. Ice remained a luxury and dependant on nature to produce it, and cumbersome methods to harvest it.
Ice cream appears to have evolved from
chilled wines and other iced beverages. Because of the
difficulty in producing ices and ice cream, and the limited amount of ice during most of
the year, they were still enjoyed primarily by the wealthy. For more than a hundred
years, recipes were carefully guarded and tasting was a privilege of a select few within
the Louvre or Royal Palace.
17th and 18th Centuries:
From the article Asparagus Ice Cream, Anyone? by Jeri Quinzio:
Many of the great plantation houses of colonial Virginia also had an icehouse. Icehouses were generally built near the riverbank and were reached by means of underground passageways. Ice was cut from the nearby ponds in wintertime or was received from New England by ship. It was then hauled by slaves, often crouched on all fours, through the narrow underground corridor to the icehouse itself (a sort of large cave braced with logs). Layers of straw separated the blocks of ice to facilitate their removal when needed. On the larger estates, there were icehouses where up to twenty tons of ice could be stored. Thus the plantation owner's family and guests were provided with iced drinks, ice cream, and other frozen desserts all through the long Southern summer.
1744 - In 1744, a group of Virginia commissioners, who were on their way to negotiate a treaty with the Iroquois nation, stopped at the home of Maryland's Colonial Governor, Thomas Bladen (governor of Maryland from 1742 to 1774), and were served some ice cream made from milk and strawberries. One of the guests, William Black of Virginia, in his 1877 Journal of William Black, published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, wrote about its virtues:
1768 - The Art of Making Frozen Desserts was published by M. Emy in Paris, France. The book not only gives formulas for "food fit for the gods," but also offers theological and philosophical explanations for such phenomena as the freezing of water.
1769 - The Experienced English Housekeeper was published by English author, Elizabeth Raffald. Following is her recipe for ice cream on page 228:
1770 - The first Gelateria (ice cream shop) in the United States was established in New York in 1770 by an Italian emigrant, Giovanni Bosio.
1774 - The first public advertisement of ice cream was made by Filippo Lenzi, a caterer and confectioner. He notified residents of New York city that he had just arrived from London and would be offering for sale jams, jellies, pastries, sugar plums, ice cream, and other luxuries. Caterers and chefs of this era sometimes prepared ice cream for a limited clientele, usually on special order. Lenzi inserted other advertisements in the newspaper in order to call attention to his wares.
In the New York Gazette-Mercury for May 19, 1777, he thanked his customers for their valued patronage, told of his move to Hanover Square and stated, "May be had almost every day, Ice Cream."
1782 - George Washington (1732-1799), the first President of the United States, is said to have eaten ice cream at a party in Philadelphia give by Monsieur de la Luzeme, the French minister, in honor of the birth of the Dauphin of France.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, is also said to have first served ice cream to George Washington in 1789. After this introduction to ice creams, it was often served at the presidential Thursday dinners. An entry in Washington's ledger reveals that he bought a "cream machine for ice" at Mount Vernon.
In 1790, a New York merchant reported that according to his records, president George Washington spent about $200 for ice cream that summer. The Washingtons borrowed the custom of the levee (a large afternoon assembly or reception) from the British court. At a typical Washington levee, the refreshments were simple: ice cream, cake, lemonade, tea, and coffee.
1784-1789 - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third President of the United States, learned to make ice cream while he was in France as Secretary of State. Thomas Jefferson brought with him from France a "cream machine for ice" or a "sorbetiere" to be used at this home in Monticello. Jefferson employed an excellent French chef and meticulously copied some of his best recipes to take home to Monticello. He observed that:
1794 - Authelme Brittat-Savarin (1755-1826), French politician and writer on gastronomy, tells how a French Captain named Collet made and sold ices in New York in 1794 and 1795. He describes, with satisfaction, the surprise of American women at this technological and masculine feat:
By the beginning of the 19th century, Philadelphia was considered the ice cream capital of the United States because of the quantity of ice cream produced there, because of the city's famous public ice cream "houses," and also because of a much-loved vanilla-and-egg flavor called "Philadelphia."
1802 - Thomas Jefferson was one of the first to serve ice cream at a state banquet in the White House. One guest commented on the dessert at a Presidential dinner consisting of:
Although the name came much later, it is likely that this was a dish similar to Baked Alaska.
1813 - Mrs. Jeremiah Shadd (known as Aunt Sallie Shadd), a freed black slave, achieved legendary status among Wilmington's free black population as the inventor of ice cream. She'd opened a catering business with family members and created a new dessert sensation made from frozen cream, sugar, and fruit.
Dolly Madison (1768-1849), wife of President James Madison who was the fourth President of the United State, heard about the new dessert, went to Wilmington to try it. Mrs. Madison enjoyed Sallie's ice cream so much it became part of the menu at her husband's Second Inauguration Ball in 1813, as well as the official dessert of White House dinners. Her White House dinners became renowned for their strawberry "bombe glacee" centerpiece desserts.1832 - African-American, Augustus Jackson, is credited for the modern method of manufacturing, (not discovering) ice cream, and the multiple ice cream recipes he developed around 1832. He uniquely used ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of his special mix of ingredients. Unfortunately he never applied for a patent. He left his position as a cook/chef at the White House, moved to Philadelphia and created several popular ice cream flavors and methods of manufacturing ice cream. He distributed it in tin cans to Philadelphias many ice cream parlors. Today Jackson is called the "father of ice cream."
1843 - Nancy M. Johnson (1795-1890) (it is not certain where she was from - some say New Jersey, Washington D.C., and even Philadelphia) invented the hand-cranked ice cream freezer (her basic design of the freezer is still used today). Her invention simplified the process of making ice cream. She patented it on September 9, 1843, Patent No. 3254. The invention of this machine marked a revolution in the history of ice cream. From this time on, anyone could make the very best quality ice cream at home (especially since rock salt, which came to be commonly called "ice cream salt" until the early 20th century, had became a cheap commodity).
1850 - Carlo Gatti (1817-1878), came to London from the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, may well have been the first person to sell ice cream. He came to London in 1847 and sold refreshments from a stall. He sold pastries and ices in little shells. The Penny Ice, also known as halfpenny ices, caught on rapidly and Gatti was at the forefront of selling ice cream to the ordinary man or woman, who had previously been unable to afford a taste of such luxury. He was so successful that he and others brought many more Italians over to join them. He is credited for having popularized the ice cream cart and penny ices in the streets of London.
For his ice cream business he had to import ice in huge quantities from Norway. He also bought the ice that formed in winter on the Regent's Park Canal. The huge ice house pits built near Kings Cross by Carlo Gatti in 1850s, where he stored the ice he shipped to England from Norway by sailing ship and then canal barge. He built two underground ice wells to store the ice. Each well was a huge cylinder about 10 meters in diameter and 13 meters deep and could hold up to 750 tons of ice.
From the 1877 book called Victorian London by J. Thompson and Adolphe Smith:
1850 - The first Canadian to start selling ice cream was Thomas Webb of Toronto, a confectioner, around 1850. William Neilson produced his first commercial batch of ice cream on Gladstone Ave. in Toronto in 1893, and his company produced ice cream at that location for close to 100 years.
1851 - The first wholesale ice cream business in the United States was opened on June 15, 1851 in Baltimore, Maryland by Jacob Fussell (1819-1912), a milk dealer who was searching for a way to keep a steady demand for his cream. He was the first person in the U.S. to produce and sell ice cream on a large scale. Fussell sold his ice cream at less than half the price charged by others (twenty-five cents a quart against sixty-five cents a quart charged by others in the city).
1864 - On July 12, 1864, the Confederate cavalry under the command of General Bradley T. Johnson (1829-1903) came south from Frederick through the County on their way to threaten Washington, D.C. As the force rode into Owings Mills, the location of an ice cream factory. The employees were loading a shipment of ice cream onto the Western Maryland Railway for delivery to Baltimore. Their rations were running low, so the soldiers seized the shipment. Many had not seen ice cream before and ate it straight out of the ten-gallon freezers for breakfast or put it in their hats and ate it while riding along. Others put it into their canteens to melt because it was too cold.
Was This the Largest Ice Cream Social of the Civil War? by Harold Screen, The Ice Screamer, Issue #102, May, 2004. Source material: The Baltimore Country Public Library, the Baltlimore County Historical Society and the Maryland State Archives:
The Great American Ice Cream Book, by Paul Dickson, published by Galahad Books, 1972, Chapter IV, page 44:
1865 - After the Civil War, the number of ice cream vendors called Hokey-Pokey Men, exploded in the large cities. The term "Hokey Pokey" presumably evolved from the Italian cry that the Italian vendors hawked their cheap ice cream, although what this originally was is not known. There have been several suggestions: a corruption of "Ecce, Ecce" (Look, Look); a derivation of "Hocus Pocus;" a corruption of "Ecco un poco" (Italian for Heres a little), the Italian "Oche poco" (Oh how little) - the last one being a reference to price, rather than the quantity, which gives it the most plausibility. Hokey-pokey actually referred to cheap ice cream or ice milk. In general, they sold delicious ice cream, even though their standards of sanitation were quite low. On a hot summer day in the city, there were swarms of children surrounding the ice cream vendors. Following is the catchy, nonsense phrase that was popular with the street vendors or Hokey-pokey men:
1885 - Agnes B. Marshall (1855-1905) of London, England published The Book Of Ices. She owned a cooking school called Mortimer Street School of Cookery. She also designed and marketed an ice cream freezer, which she claimed was capable of freezing a pint of ice cream mixture in five minutes. Most ice cream freezers, then and now, are deep and narrow. Marshall's patented machine was broad and shallow. Her lectures were attended by female cooks "and their ladies." Her customers and students were able to make some spectacular molded ices and ice puddings. The cooking school continued until the early 1950s.
1876 - The Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first worlds fair held in the United States to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, offered Americans a chance to see and taste the latest innovations in ice cream molds. According to The History of Ice Cream in Philadelphia:
ACentennial Exhibition trade card for Gaff, Fleishmann & Co. products made with compressed yeast shows a photo of the Vienna Model Bakery. On the reverse side it says:
1897 - Alfred L. Cralle, African-American inventor, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was issued a patent No. 576,395 on February 2,1897 for an "Ice Cream Mold and Disher." His design was made to be strong and durable, effective, inexpensive, able to keep ice cream and other foods from sticking, and easy to operate with one hand. It could be constructed in almost any desired shape, such as a cone or a mound, with no delicate parts that could break or malfunction. The basic design is so efficient that it is seen still in use today.
1892 - The Pennsylvania State College established the first course in ice cream making. Iowa State College offered instruction in 1901.
1899 - August Gaulin of France, invented the
which breaks down the fat globules to give ice cream its smooth texture. It was in
use within two years. The United States patent was dated April 11, 1904. He also invented the brine freezer which permitted faster freezing.
Several inventions, such as new freezers and mechanical refrigeration had dramatic effects on the growth of the industry. Five million gallons of ice cream were being produced in the United States in 1899, thirty million gallons in 1909, and 150 million gallons by 1919. In 1930, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) was introduced commercially in the United States for purposes such as keeping ice cream cold.
Textbooks were published in the United States on ice cream: The Manufacture of Ice Creams and Ices,"
1926 - Clarence Vogt, Louisville, Kentucky, invented the first commercially successful continuous process freezer in 1926, allowing mass production of the product.
1938 - The father and son team, J. F. McCullough (better known as Grandpa) and Alex McCullough invented soft-serve ice cream, an invention that gave birth to the Dairy Queen. Grandpa McCullough knew the mix tasted best before it was frozen into its final form, since lower temperatures numbed the taste buds, robbing the mix of some of its flavor. So he and Alex set out to find out two things: if customers liked the taste of softer ice cream and if there was a machine that would facilitate serving the creamy mix. They held a sale for "All The Ice Cream You Can Eat For 10 Cents." They dished up 1,600 servings in two hours. They also came across a prototype machine when Alex noticed a vendor selling frozen custard out of a special freezer in Chicago.
1941-1945 - During World War II, for every pilot rescued from the water by an escort destroyer, aircraft carriers would give the smaller ship a twenty-gallon reward of ice cream. The United Press reported that the Army procurement priorities rated ice cream, candy soft drinks, chewing gum, and tobacco products as essential for maintaining troop morale.
SOURCES:A History of Ice Cream in Philadelphia, Chilly Philly.
American Food - The Gastronomic Story, by Evan Jones, published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc, 1975.
Asparagus Ice Crea, Anyone? by Jeri Quinzio, Gastronomica - The Journal of Food and Culture, Volume 2, Number 2, Spring 2002.
Black Women In Delaware's History, by Carol Hoffecker University of Delaware and Annette Woolard of Historical Society of Delaware, University of Delaware, 1997.
Centennial Exhibition Digital Collection, CEDC No. c110290.
Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla: A History of American Ice Cream, by Ann Cooper Funderburg, published by Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1995.
Dairy Queen History Curls Through Area, by Marcy Norton, January 26,
1998, Quad-Cities Online,
http;//www.qconline.com/progress98/business/prqueen2.html, an internet web site.
Food In History, by Reay Tannahill, published by Stein and Day, 1973.
Harvest of the Cold Months - The Social History of Ice and Ices, by Elizabeth David, published by Viking - The Penguin Group, 1995.
History of Ice Cream - Let's Eat (History and Orgin of your Favorite Foods), Pastry Wiz.
Ice cream has a complicated but fascinating history, Mister Gel.
Ice Cream History and Folklore, University of Guelph, Dairy Science & Technology.
Ice - Plain and Fancy, by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976, reprint of the 1885 edition published in London.
I Scream, You Scream, by Brennen Jensen, Baltimore City Paper.
Journal of William Black, 1744, by William Black, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1877), pp. 233-249.Le Procope, Bistro/Restaurant/Cafe.
Let's Talk Food: Chill out. with a Popsicle, by Doris Reynolds, Naples Daily News.
Mothers and Daughter of Inventors: Notes for a Revised History of Technology" pg 76, by Autumn Stanley, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1993.
Much Depends On Dinner, by Margaret Visser, published by Grover Press, 1986.
Panati's Extraordinary Origins Of Everyday Things, by Charles Panati, published by Harper & Row, 1987.
Patent Pending Blog - Patents and the History of Technology, by Bob Shaver.
Peanuts, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Candy and Soda Pop and How They Began, by Solveig Paulson Russell, published by Abingdon Press, 1970.
Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, by Patricia Bunning Stevens, published by Tsunami Press, 1994.
Red-Flannel Hash and Shoo-fly Pie - American Regional Foods and Festivals, by Lila Perl, published by The World Publishing Company, 1965.
Royal Cookbook - Favorite Court Recipes From The World's Royal Families, published by Parents' Magazine Press.
Since Eve Ate Apples - Quotation on Feasting, Fasting & Food, by March Egerton, published by Tsunami Press, 1994.
The American and His Food, by Richard Osborn Cummings, published by Arno
Press and The New York Times, 1970.
The Dictionary of American Food & Drink, by John F. Mariani, published by Ticknor & Fields, 1983.
The Exquisite Table - A History of French Cuisine, by Esther B. Aresty, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. Indianapolis/New York, 1980.
The FoodBook, by James Trager, published by Grossman Publishers, 1970.
The Food Chronology, by James Tager, published by Henry Holt and Company, 1995.
The Great American Ice Cream Book, by Paul Dickson, published by Galahad Books, 1972.
The History of Ice Cream, MakeIceCream.com.
The Ice Cream Connection, by Ralph Pomeroy, Paddington Press Ltd, 1975.
The Kid Who Invented The Popsicle, by Don L. Wulffson, publsihed by Puffin Books, 1997.
The Night 2000 Men Came To Dinner, by Douglas G. Meldrum, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994.
The Ocean View Nickle Tour - Part VII, by Albert Doumar.
The Secret Life of Food, by Martin Elkort, published by Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1991.Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - Street Life in London - by J. Thomson and Adolphe Smith, 1877.
Was This the Largest Ice Cream Social of the
Civil War? by Harold Screen, The Ice Screamer, Issue #102, May, 2004. Also
The Baltimore Country Public Library, the
Baltlimore County Historical Society and the Maryland State Archives.
Contact Linda Stradley - About Us - By Linda Stradley