Category : Newsletter
We All Scream for Ice Cream!
By Debbie Houck
Harry Burt was a confectionery owner in Youngstown, Ohio, who created a chocolate coated ice cream bar on a stick in 1920. His daughter Ruth liked it but felt it was too messy to eat. Son Harry Jr. suggested freezing the wooden sticks being used for their Jolly Boy Suckers, a hard candy that had brought earlier success, into the ice cream to make a handle. The Good Humor name is based on a belief that a person’s temperament (or “humor”) was related the humor of their palate, in other words, affected by their sense of taste from the foods one ate.
Predicting a larger market, Burt bought a dozen Ford Model T trucks and specially outfitted them with freezers. He hired salesmen who used ringing bells to attract children to the product. The first set of bells were from his son’s old bobsled. The trucks, like the drivers’ uniforms, were white to give the impression of cleanliness. (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/remembering-the-good-humor-truck/ and http://www.goodhumor.com/article)
For you ice cream connoisseurs, the Eskimo Pie was actually the first American chocolate shell ice cream bar, invented by Christian Kent Nelson in 1919. He joined up with Russell C. Stover in 1921 and Nelson’s “I-Scream Bar” became the Eskimo Pie. The company would eventually be ran by the supplier of the Eskimo Pie wrapper, United States Foil Company, later known as Reynolds Metals Company, until 1992. http://amhistory.si.edu/archives/d8553.htm. Ironically, when Nelson made the original I-Scream Bar, he had put it on a stick. Stover convinced him to take it out, feeling that the stick made the bar look too much like a lollipop, so it ended up being sold without a handle. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/10/what_the_history_of_eskimo_pies_says_about_software_patents_today.html
For first photo credit:
Ford Ice Cream Trucks, 1925, are lined up ready to sell Harry Burt’s Good Humor Ice Cream Suckers. https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/163696
For second photo credit: