Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream Fun Facts


  • No one knows for sure, but it is believed that ice cream was invented in China around 2000BC when the Chinese packed a soft milk and rice mixture in snow.


  • In 62 A.D The first frozen dessert is credited to, the Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar. It was a mixture of snow (which he sent his slaves into the Apennines Mountains to retrieve) and nectar, fruit pulp and honey. Another theory is Marco Polo, 13th century bard and adventurer, brought with him to Europe from the Far East recipes for water ices….said to be used in Asia for thousands of years.


  • In 1700 Governor Bladen of Maryland served ice cream to his guests.


  • The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776.


  • Ice cream became a sensation at the White House in 1812, when First Lady Dolly Madison served it at the second inaugural ball.


  • In 1843, New England housewife Nancy Johnson invented the hand-cranked ice cream churn. She patented her invention but lacked the resources to make and market the churn herself. Mrs. Johnson sold the patent for $200 to a Philadelphia kitchen wholesaler who, by 1847, made enough freezers to satisfy the high demand. From 1847 to 1877, more than 70 improvements to ice cream churns were patented.


  • The first commercial ice cream plant was established in Baltimore in 1851 by Jacob Fussell.In 1851, Jacob Fussell, a milk dealer in Baltimore, converted his milk plant into the first commercial ice cream plant.


  • Italo Marchiony sold his homemade ice cream from a pushcart on Wall Street, New York City. He reduced his overhead caused by customers breaking or wandering off with his serving glasses by baking edible waffle cups with sloping sides and a flat bottom. He patented his idea in 1903. Thus, the ice cream cone was invented on September 22, 1896. He was granted a patent for his creation in December of 1903.


  • Others link the ice cream cone’s invention to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. An ice cream vendor there reportedly didn’t have enough dishes to keep up with demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his product into “cornucopias.”


  • Invention of the ice cream soda is usually attributed to Robert M. Green, who operated a soda water concession in Philadelphia.  Green, who sold a mix of carbonated water, cream, and syrup, apparently ran out of cream and substituted ice cream, hoping his customers wouldn’t notice. But they did and daily sales receipts climbed from $6 to $600.


  • During the stuffy Victorian period, drinking soda water was considered improper, so some towns banned its sale on Sundays. An enterprising druggist in Evanston, IN, reportedly concocted a legal Sunday alternative containing ice cream and syrup, but no soda. To show respect for the Sabbath, he later changed the spelling to “sundae.”


  • America is the ice cream capital of the world, producing over 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream per year. Second to Australia.


  • Immigrants at Ellis Island were served Vanilla Ice Cream as part of their “Welcome To America” dinner.


  • Each American consumes a yearly average of 22.3 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy productsa year. The most avid ice cream eaters don’t live in Hawaii, The South or California or any other hot clime.  Instead, in 1999, it was reported that the good citizens of Omaha, Nebraska ate more ice cream than any other Americans.


  • Vanilla is the number one flavour in the U.S. with sales equaling almost 30% of total ice cream sales.


  • In 1983, Cookies n’ Cream ice cream, made with real Oreos, climbed to number 5 on the best selling ice cream flavours.  It is the fastest growing new flavour in the history of the ice cream industry.


  • In 1991, another flavour phenomenon was created — Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, which combines the best part of the Chocolate Chip cookie — the raw dough — with creamy vanilla ice cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips.


  • More ice cream is sold on Sundays than any other day of the week.


  • Ice cream consumption is highest during July and August. In 1984, President Ronald Regan declared July as National Ice Cream Month, citing the food’s “nutritious and wholesome qualities”  He decreed that all patriotic Americas should mark the month with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” The second Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day!


  • Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.


  • One of the major ingredients in Ice Cream is air.  Without it Ice Cream would be as hard as a rock.


  • One out of five ice cream eaters share their treat with their cat or dog.


  • The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50.


  • 98 percent of all households purchase ice cream.


  • Toppings:


  • The favourite topping is still chocolate syrup.


  • The biggest ice cream sundae ever made was 12 feet high and made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream and 7,000 pounds of toppings in Anaheim, Calif., during 1985.


  • Sales:


  • Super premium and premium ice cream represent about 41.4 percent of the total dollar sales of ice cream.


  • Ice cream is an $11 billion retail industry.


  • Vanilla:
  • 80 percent of the world’s Vanilla Bean used for ice cream is grown in Madagascar.


  • Novelties:


  • Ice cream novelties such as ice cream on sticks and ice cream bars were introduced in the 1920’s.


  • Adults consume nearly one-half of all ice cream novelties.


The History of Jimmies


Jimmies were first developed by Just Born Candy Company, which was founded by Samuel Born, who immigrated to the US from Russia around 1910. Born opened a small candy-making and retail store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1923. Soon after opening the Brooklyn store, Born invited his brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, to join him in the business. With his capable partners handling the factory and growing sales, Born was free to direct his energies to his many candy-related inventions.

In 1930 James Bartholomew was lucky enough to acquire a job at Just Born, Inc. Bartholomew operated a machine that produced Born’s latest invention, tiny hot-dog shaped chocolate sprinkly things. But what to call them? Born briefly pondered that question before deciding to accredit the name to the producer, Jimmy Bartholomew. The new product was named JIMMIES, which is still a trademarked name, but no longer made by Just Born. The dictionary definition for JIMMIES used to be “decorative things.” They have also been called toppettes, shots, fancies, trimettes and sprinkles. Though sprinkles technically are a multi-coloured version of JIMMIES. They came to Boston, (circa 1947) JIMMIES are to ice cream like mustard & relish are to a hot dog. Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour has continued the long tradition of serving JIMMIES free of charge on its ice cream cones and dishes.


The 15 Most Popular Ice Cream Flavours in America

(Flavour, percent preferring)

  1. Vanilla, 29%
    2. Chocolate, 8.9%
    3. Butter pecan, 5.3%
    4. Strawberry, 5.3%
    5. Neapolitan, 4.2%
    6. Chocolate chip, 3.9%
    7. French vanilla, 3.8%
    8. Cookies and cream, 3.6%
    9. Vanilla fudge ripple, 2.6%
    10. Praline pecan, 1.7%
    11. Cherry, 1.6%
    12. Chocolate almond, 1.6%
    13. Coffee, 1.6%
    14. Rocky road, 1.5%
    15. Chocolate marshmallow, 1.3%
    All others, 23.7%

Source: International Ice Cream Association, 888 16th St., Washington, D.C., 20006