Ice cream is a comfort food, right up there with macaroni & cheese and tater tots, so it’s no surprise that the sweet treat played a key role in comforting our nation and our troops during World War II. To help supply ice cream to soldiers and sailors fighting in the Pacific, the U.S. Navy built an “Ice Cream Barge” – a ship whose sole purpose was to make and distribute ice cream to the tune of 1,500 gallons an hour! But while our brave men and women overseas were enjoying ice cream (and deservedly so), the rationing of milk, sugar and other supplies meant ice cream shortages back home. When the rationing was lifted after the war, American’s worked overtime to get their fill of ice cream, consuming it in record amounts – 20 quarts per person in 1946 alone!
About 1926 the first commercially-successful continuous process freezer was perfected. The continuous freezer, developed by Clarence Vogt, and later ones produced by other manufacturers, has allowed the ice cream industry to become a mass producer of its product.
Custard ice cream originated on Coney Island in about 1919. It was sold as a carnival treat and quickly grew in popularity. In the coming years, custard could be found in Atlantic City and other East Coast resort communities. By 1932, the Kirkhoff family of Lafayette, Indiana, had discovered custard ice cream and opened their first stand. This store, which is still in operation, is considered the oldest continuously operating custard stand.
There is much controversy over who invented the first ice cream cone. Both paper and metal cones were used in France, England, and Germany before the 19th century. Travelers to Düsseldorf, Germany reported eating ice cream out of edible cones in the late 1800s. The first true ice cream cone, used exclusively for ice cream, appears to have been the invention of the Italian immigrants living in the Manchester, England area during the inter-war period in the middle 1800s. The food trade, and in particular ice cream, provided a living for many Italian families.
The birth of the sundae goes to Ithaca, New York, which as what is the earliest known documentation via an ad placed by Chester Platt in the Ithaca Daily Journal on April 6, 1892 for the “Cherry Sunday” served at Platt & Colt’s soda fountain. It was born on a Sunday before then when the Reverend John M. Scott of the Unitarian Church visited the Platt & Colt Pharmacy for his usual dish of vanilla ice cream after services; and Chester Platt poured cherry syrup over the top of the usual plain vanilla scoop and dressed it with a candied cherry. As the two men pondered over what to call the delightful new concoction, Scott proposed that it be named after the day on which it was invented. Other people and places may lay claim to the invention, but Chester Platt and Ithaca have it in print.
In the late 19th century, ice cream was widely available, through street vendors and at ice cream parlors. In 1874, the concept of the American “soda fountain” and the profession of the “soda jerk” emerged with the invention of the ice cream soda.
1850: Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory. He had a surplus of cream—so he build an ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, and shipped it to Baltimore by train. Business boomed, and Fussell became the father of the wholesale ice cream industry.
The first improvement in the manufacture of ice cream (from the handmade way in a large bowl) was given to us by a New Jersey woman, Nancy johnson, who in 1846 invented the hand-cranked freezer. This device is still familiar to many. By turning the freezer handle, they agitated a container of ice cream mix in a bed of salt and ice until the mix was frozen. Because Nancy Johnson lacked the foresight to have her invention patented, her name does not appear on the patent records. A similar type of freezer was, however, patented on May 30, 1848, by a Mr. Young who at least had the courtesy to call it the "Johnson Patent Ice Cream Freezer".
American colonists brought along recipes from Europe. On May 19, 1744, a group of VIP's dined at the home of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen. Present was a Scottish colonist who described "a Dessert...Among the Rarities of which is was Compos'd, was some fine Ice Cream which, with the Strawberries and Milk, eat most deliciously." This is the first written account of ice cream consumption in the new colonies.
Before modern refrigeration mostly wealthy people had access to ice (and by association, iced cream) in the summer. This made ice cream a rare treat. It was not until the late 19th century "ice cream" was consumed by Americans across all socio-economic levels.
There was a big splash made in the New York Gazette on May 12th, 1777. Confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available almost every single day.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the first print occurrence of the word "iced cream" as in 1688. The term "ice cream" shows up in 1744. That corresponds approximately with the time when "modern" ice creams were first manufactured. treat until mass modern technology punched in.
In 1660 ice cream was finally made for the general public in France.The Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending butter, eggs, cream and milk. It was served in France’s first cafe, Cafe Procope.
Over a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet. Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century. England seems to have discovered ice cream at the same time, or perhaps even earlier than the Italians. "Cream Ice," as it was called, appeared regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century. France was introduced to similar frozen desserts in 1553 by the Italian Catherine de Medici when she became the wife of Henry II of France.
Ice cream's origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C., although no specific date of origin nor inventor has been undisputably credited with its discovery. We know that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Biblical references also show that King Solomon was fond of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices.