Who Was the First Ice Cream Man?

Quck answer

The first ice cream man is often attributed to a man named Harry Burt. In 1920, Burt invented the Good Humor ice cream bar and began selling it from a truck. However, there were others before him who sold ice cream from carts and wagons. The origins of the ice cream man can be traced back to the early 19th century when ice cream became popular in the United States. These early vendors would push carts filled with ice cream and sell it to people on the streets. While the exact identity of the very first ice cream man remains unclear, Harry Burt is widely recognized as a pioneer in the industry.

What is the most delightful sound to hear on a scorching summer day? For many people, it’s the catchy tune of the ice cream truck as it drives along their street. When those unmistakable notes are heard, shouts of “Ice cream truck!” fill the air. Children abandon whatever they’re doing and rush to the nearest adult, pleading for money to buy a refreshing treat from the ice cream vendor.

What would you choose from an ice cream truck? A popsicle? Maybe a fudge pop? Indulging in any cold treat from an ice cream truck is a cherished tradition for numerous children and adults. It contributes to making summer the wonderful season that it is!

Naturally, various frozen treats are available in grocery stores. Many towns also have specialty shops that offer a wide range of delectable cold desserts. So, how did the tradition of the ice cream truck and its driver—the ice cream man—originate?

Nobody knows exactly who the first ice cream truck driver was, but it’s possible that they were an employee of Harry Burt from Youngstown, Ohio. In 1920, Mr. Burt created frozen ice cream on a stick and named it the Good Humor® bar.

To promote his creation, he utilized a dozen trucks driven by individuals in white uniforms. They sold his ice cream bars all over Youngstown. The trucks had bells that the drivers would ring to attract people’s attention. The bars became incredibly popular.

By the 1950s, ice cream trucks were highly popular across the United States. Some were used by companies to advertise their specific frozen products, while others were private businesses started by entrepreneurs who wanted to sell ice cream.

The initial ice cream trucks used large blocks of dry ice to keep their products cold. Modern trucks are equipped with large refrigerators that maintain the frozen treats at a chilly temperature throughout the day. They remain cold enough to give you an ice cream headache on a hot day!

Ice cream trucks often roam neighborhoods during the day when children are playing outside. You can also frequently find them at other locations where large groups of people gather during the summer, such as parks, beaches, and sporting events.

Similar to the bells in the 1920s, today’s ice cream trucks entice customers with familiar, catchy jingles. We often wonder how the truck driver can tolerate listening to the same song all day long! Some popular ice cream truck tunes include “Turkey in the Straw,” “Do Your Ears Hang Low?,” “Pop Goes the Weasel,” “The Entertainer,” “Music Box Dancer,” and “Camptown Races.”

Ice cream trucks typically offer a wide variety of treats. Some of the most popular items include popsicles, snow cones, ice cream sandwiches, and soft serve. Some trucks also provide soft drinks, candy, and other snacks.

Have you ever ordered from an ice cream truck? What is your favorite frozen treat? Remember to stay alert—you never know when you might hear the jingle of a passing ice cream truck.

Try It Out

Ready for a sweet treat? Make sure to invite a friend or family member to join you in exploring the following activities:

If there is an ice cream truck that comes to your neighborhood, take advantage of it today and get a refreshing treat. If there is no ice cream truck in your neighborhood, you can still enjoy a delicious treat. Simply ask a friend or family member to take you to the grocery store to buy some ice cream. Once you’re home, grab a scoop and make yourself a cone to savor!

While you’re enjoying your ice cream, you can also explore other ice cream-related Wonders of the Day, such as “What’s Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?” or “Why Do You Get Ice Cream Headaches?” Read these wonders with a friend or family member and discuss what you’ve learned.

If you’re up for a challenge, why not try making your own homemade ice cream? Go online and search for “Homemade Ice Cream…in a Bag!” You’ll need some plastic storage bags and a few simple ingredients. Have fun getting creative!

Sources of Wonder

  • https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/52281/brief-history-ice-cream-truck (accessed 10 July 2020)
  • https://www.countryliving.com/life/news/g3359/ice-cream-trucks/ (accessed 10 July 2020)

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