Vintage Ice Cream Makers

Vintage Ice Cream Makers

Americans love their ice cream and that is evident by the numerous articles about the sweet treat. The old newspapers also shared recipes as well as ice cream makers (or freezers) for sale so that people could make the cold confection at home. Because there was no home freezers yet, unless you lived in the north, during the winter months, you had to eat what you made as soon as it came out of the ice cream maker and that was no problem for most.

play-audioListen to a vintage music of the period – Toot, toot, Tootsie, good-bye!

Find Vintage Ice Cream Makers Here


The first article talks about the different types of ice cream makers available in the early 1900’s and all are manual, hand cranked machines. The clipping is from the New York Tribunes “Tribune Institute”, a kind of “Consumers Report” of the day and rates 3 models tested at their facility.

vintage ice cream makers

Typical Ice Cream Freezers and Their Habits

THREE typical freezers, all good of their kind, are the Lightning, Blizzard and the Gem. The first two named are “single acting”- the can revolves, while the scraper remains stationary. It takes about the same length of time (13 minutes) to freeze two quarts of cream in either of these freezers. Both are characterized by ease of operation and durability. The Lightning makes an especially smooth product, due to the fact that it has, besides the two scrapers, a triangular three-bladed beating device, set to one side. The characteristic feature of the Gem Freezer is that it is double acting, the can and dasher both revolving and in opposite directions, This principle gives slightly quicker results, but this freezer is a little more difficult to turn toward the end of the operation than with the other types.


The fourth type of freezer approved by the Institute is the American Twin, which makes two flavors at once in fifteen minutes. Deliciously smooth cream was made in this freezer in the Tribune Institute and the two creams were kept entirely separate. The motion in this case is backward and forward, instead of revolving. The action is easy at first, but becomes more difficult as the cream hardens.

1906 American Twin Ice Cream Freezer

Any one of these freezers will add to the happiness of home the year round, but especially from June to September, and they represent a distinct economy besides. A Lightning Ice Chip is a useful accessory tool in home ice cream making. The four steel pin teeth with beveled ends, mounted on the under side of the galvanized metal frame, are effectively operated with a minimum of effort, when one has a firm grip on the short wooden handle.

The White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer


The next article deals with the making of ice cream for commercial use in restaurants and ice cream parlors. It comes to us by way of the St. Paul Globe and was published in 1889. keep in mind there was no commercial freezers and this was all done and shipped with ice.

ICE CREAM FACTORY. How the Great American Delicacy Is Made by Wholesale

crushing the iceCrushing The Ice – The making or ice cream by wholesale for the the retail trade, for many restaurants and ice cream parties buy their ice cream, has assumed proportions that make necessary the use of machinery and the employment of people who understand the art, for an art it is, of expeditiously manufacturing this toothsome compound. A Globe reporter the other day visited what might be called an ice cream factory. It was in a basement, and the change in the temperature from the sidewalk was about as striking as the as the transition from the hot room to the cooling room of a Turkish bath. A dozen mammoth cakes of ice lay on the cement floor, which were evidently to be made into trapped hash by a machine which with its iron teeth was industriously chewing into fragments a slab of ice that was held in its jaws. This ice, it was explained, was used in packing cans for delivery. The ice cream freezers themselves.

mixing the creamMixing The Cream – This resembled large wooden tubs or vats packed with ice and salt, the cans being turned continually by moans of machinery during the freezing process. There were barrels of rock salt and sugar and cans of milk fresh from the dairy, while the “mixer” had quite a little assortment of extracts on his table, and several large cakes of chocolate. A large order was being made up. A ten-gallon can of cream was poured into the freezing pot. In goes a shower of sugar and extract. Then the pot is put into a tub packed solid with ice and rolled under the machinery, which when adjusted whirls the can or pot round and round at a merry rate, to the music of crunching ice, for eight minutes, and then the cans are taken out and packed in ice ready for delivery.

Comment (1)

  1. Fred Overmann

    Need any info on my hand crank ice freezer. Wooden rectangle box. Crushed ice goes inside cream is shaved off outside.looks like economy freezer on tattered paper inside top.also date starts with 18. Thanks


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