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I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for (Electronic) Ice Cream (Makers)!

August 20, 2013

There’s a keystone in every great invention

Whether it is from the supermarket, your favorite restaurant, or from a colorful truck driving through your neighborhood, ice cream is the treat that brings joy and refreshment to young and old.   Many historians date what we would recognize as modern ice cream back to 6th Century China and it has been an important part of the American experience since our founding. Almost everyone now has access to ice cream day or night, whether from the store or homemade. There are a number of different ways to get the job done, but most modern companies and households go with a dedicated ice cream making machine.
Ice cream maker
Early references to ice cream include the Roman emperor Nero who demanded that legions bring containers of ice from the mountains.  The ice was then combined with fruit toppings.  In China, King Tang presided over a new method of creating ice mixed with milk and flavors. At some point in the movement of goods and people between China and Europe, the idea of iced cream (milk) was transferred. As the dessert evolved, new recipes for ices, sherbets, and iced milk were created and the dessert was served in the European royal courts.

The first widely available hand-cranked ice cream maker came on the scene around 1843. The brainchild of inventor Nancy Johnson and marketer William Young, the Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer began the modern ice cream era.  

This innovation was just the opening salvo for what was to become a major American, and global industry.  What had once been a rare treat of royalty and the rich, quickly became part of everyday life. By the 1950’s, American’s where consuming on average 18.1 pounds of ice cream a year! As of 2011, the U.S. consumed a total of 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and frozen desserts a year.  

Ice cream coneOf course, like all other technology, ice cream makers went from hand-cranked to electrical towards the middle of the 20th century. Today, there is a wide variety of machines, both for the home and commercial use to choose from, in all price ranges and sizes.  

Electrical ice cream machines fall into two basic categories, self-refrigerating and freezer-assisted.  The self-refrigerating models are more expensive and complex, due to the fact they have to provide their own temperate controls. Freezer-assisted machines are less costly but also more time consuming and in general produce smaller batches.

Either way, the modern electrical ice cream maker is evolving at the same pace as other mechanical technologies. Today’s models include computer assisted control systems, along with complex screens and other innovative electronic hardware.

While the end product might be the same basic tasty treat our great-great-great grandparents enjoyed, the machines that produce today’s ice cream are complex and demand the world’s best designed and manufactured interconnected components and electronic hardware., such as anti-vibration grommets, metal fan / finger guards, cable clamps; nylon and steel, washers, fuse clips and fuse holders, LED spacers and lens caps, quick-fit terminals, screw and panel hardware, and spacers and standoffs.