Calendar of Cool: First Ice Cream Factory Opens

On June 15, 1851, chef Jacob Fusseli opened the first ice cream factory in the world. The United States now leads the world in ice-cream production, churning out 1.6 billion gallons a year, all thanks to that humble Pennsylvania factory.

In modern factories, scientists and engineers spend countless hours making sure the ice cream is perfect. Deciding what new flavors to make and how best to produce them requires calculation, chemistry, and lots and lots of tasting!

Ice cream scientist

Ice cream is a simple dessert that has become deeply entrenched in American culture. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both huge fans of the treat, with Jefferson going so far as to design his own process for making it.  Later, during World War I, ice cream was considered to crucial to keeping up morale that it was declared an essential foodstuff, and escaped being rationed.

Ice cream’s long history means that there are countless ways to make it. Hand-cranked freezers were used for a long time, and now there are electric versions that you can plug in at home to make your own ice cream in just minutes! The dessert is so omnipresent in America that you can look at how your ancestors made ice cream as part of an exploration of genealogy and family history.

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Making ice cream by hand is a popular summer activity: All you need is some ingredients, plastic bags, and a sweet tooth. It’s a great way to get kids to experience the physical and chemical changes involved.  Really want to blow your students’ minds? A bowl of bubbling, boiling liquid nitrogen can freeze up a batch of ice cream in no time at all!

Nitrogen

A delicious dessert with science and history all rolled into one? Literally, very cool.

 

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