15 February 2008

historians on ice cream stealth mode

After reading Kelly Pavlik's line in The Los Angeles Times about Youngstown's being the home of the first ice cream wagon, the Mahoning Valley History blog swoops in and presents the history of Harry Burt and Good Humor Bars.
"In downtown Youngstown between 1893 and 1922, Harry B. Burt (1875-1926) worked as a confectioner who produced candy, then added ice cream, soda fountain and grill to his store, expanding his business to include a bakery and restaurant, finally adding twelve refrigerator trucks to distribute Good Humor bars to Mahoning Valley and Youngstown city neighborhoods. All these successes he accomplished during the decades of Youngstown’s greatest social, commercial and industrial expansion."

"When the Burt’s West Federal Street store opened on April 3,1922, The Vindicator dedicated two front-page photos and most of an inside page to “A great addition to W. Federal Street’s new shopping district” (Vindicator, 4.3.22).

Burt purchased twelve refrigerator trucks for neighborhood distribution of his new ice cream bars. A Burt family bobsled bell called children to the Good Humor delivery trucks where customers could buy Good Humor bars from the truck driver who wore a white uniform. Descriptions often mention the Good Humor Truck drivers as “chauffeurs.”
read more here

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