Ice Cream hits the streets of New York

By Laura Brose c. 2006

More About Ice Cream Sandwiches

It is unknown who developed the first ice cream sandwich, but two distinct types emerged: square-shaped and rounded. Somewhere along the line, a hokey-pokey vendor decided to make his treats less messy or longer lasting-or dispense with the paper wrappers- by serving the slices of ice cream between same-size wafers and/or experimenting with chocolate and crumb coatings, and managed to make it fly with the public.

“We checked several ice cream stories in the New York Times from 1886-1929 and the earliest reference we found to ice cream sandwiches by name was an editorial titled "New Hot-Weather Refreshments" published August 31, 1928 (page 18, column 6) "...ice cream cones, dainties' and sandwiches still hold their own with the new ices." (Lynne Olver 2004, Food Timeline, “history notes: ice cream and ice” updated 3 August 2006) Good Humor is credited with the initial mass production and distribution of rectangular ice cream sandwiches. Square shaped ice cream sandwiches even in the present day tend to be plain in flavor and composition, limited to a few basic varieties, and in many cases, made of low quality ice cream and hard cookie wafers, reflecting their possible proletarian origin. “The chocolate cookie sandwiches probably didn't come about until the inception of the Hydrox cookie in 1908, added Andrew F. Smith, a culinary historian. He said the first commercial sandwich was made by Good Humor in the 1920's. ‘The Good Humor Man in the ice cream truck driving around and selling sandwiches is what made them famous,’ he said.” Vora, Shivani, May 31, 2006, “Frozen Treats: A Bite of Childhood”)

The rounded ice cream sandwiches have diverse and much later origins: individual varieties, such as the Chipwich, are traced back to mid-20th century inventors: the “Flying Saucer” sold by Carvel is said to have been devised in the 1950s and to be the first such confection sold by a national chain. The Flying Saucer has harder and less cloying cookie components than its rectangular counterpart at Good Humor, and the ice cream therein comes in several flavors, also unlike the Good Humor product. Rounded ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies and exotic flavors of ice cream are served for desert during the summer at a number of the better sort of restaurants in New York City, and are reviewed and depicted in New York magazine and other local publications as a rite of the summer season and an item of gourmet interest.

According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the Anderson ice cream sandwich making machine was registered with the government February 1, 1926 registration number 0615682. The USPTO record does not indicate whether or not this particular device was made/manufactured or ever produced its intended product.” (Lynne Olver 2004, Food Timeline, “history notes: ice cream and ice” updated 3 August 2006)