photos of women of the 1950's ; firm was founded by Robert Randall ; James Randall is the third Randall ; equipment for motor, aircraft, catering, electrical, mining trades ; containers for ice cream industry ; Randalrak Co. was launched for storage equipment, trolleys, and benches ; storage vats, gramophone horns, heating appliances, metal tubing, canteen equipment, library shelving, hydraulic equipment, street lighting equipment ; office cabinets ; tinning and metalwork ; some interesting early 1900's photos of factory scenes and workers ;
Paper drinking cups and food packaging ; "Paper Cups-Essential in War" ; paper portion control cups for food rationing ; cup dispensers ; souffle cups ; "Pack a Lunch a Man Can Work On!" wartime nutrition of workers ; "kitchen soldiers" "war workers' wives" ; "Respiratory Infections: Their Control in Industry" by Helen Morgan Hall , encouraging use of paper cups and utensils ; "Ice Cream Field" ice cream industry publication ; health and paper cups .
Black and white images
22 pieces; 1 box
Type of material:
New York, New York, United States
Topic (Romaine term):
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies Search this
Foods and beverage products and processing equipment (including brewing; distilleries; beer; wine; etc.) Search this
Printing; publishing; paper and bookselling (including type specimens) Search this
Military equipment and supplies (including uniforms) Search this
History from the company's website http://www.palmerwahl.com/_palmerCompanyProfile.php : "America's first thermometer company originated in Cincinnati, OH in 1836. Since that time, Palmer Instruments has steadily evolved through product development geared exclusively towards industrial supply and process measurement. From development of the "Foster Cup" thermometer in 1880, through the radical improvement of thermometer legibility by the patented "Red Reading Mercury" tube in 1929, to today's temperature and pressure measurement innovations, Palmer has always maintained the "first" tradition by bringing instrument value, service and quality to a broad range of industries. Operating from a new facility in Asheville, NC since 1987, Palmer has developed special-application products such as Dual-Sensing and "Slip-fit" thermometers, and pioneered new industry services such as free lifetime recalibration on pressure gauges. With the recent affiliation with Wahl Instruments, and resulting consolidation of manufacturing in Asheville, Palmer Instruments looks first to the future." Search this
Palmer Instruments, Inc.; Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group; also in St. Bernard, Ohio Search this
Circa 1920 catalog (No. 46) for high grade Palmer Thermometers for all Industrial and Commercial purposes: refrigeration, brine, cold storage, shiphold, feed water and hygrometers. Circa 1935 bulletin (No. 500) for a self-contained motor operated aspirating psychrometer with "red-reading mercury" thermometers. Catalog (No. 7000-A) for Milk and Ice Cream Industrial Thermometers: vat, milk line, pasturizing. Circa 1935 catalog (No. 900-A) for breweries and distilleries industrial thermometers: for wood tanks, for glass-lined metal tanks, ebulliometer. Circa 1935 catalog (No. 300-A) for Chemical and Oil industrial thermometers: titer test, meat testing, asphalt testing and dry kiln. Circa 1935 catalog (No. 300-B) for Chemical and Oil industrial thermometers similar to above. Circa 1936 catalog (No. 6000-A) for Bakers and Confectioners is similar to above. Circa 1935 catalog (No. 900-A) for Breweries and Distilleries thermometers similar to above. Circa 1935 catalog (No. 6000) for Bakers and Confectioners industries: dough, yeast testing , oven , candy , kettle , bread . Circa 1936 catalog (No. 200-C) for industrial indicating thermometers: ie flue gas thermometers , molten metal thermometers , air duct thermometers , shiphold thermometers , hygrometer for testing humidity . Circa 1939 catalog No. 300-C for red reading mercury thermometers for the chemical, oil and various industries, includes a ham boiling or cooking thermometer. May 1939 catalog for Dairy and Ice Cream Industries thermometers, includes vat thermometers , foam and air space thermometers , pasturizing thermometers , milk inspectors thermometers , brine tank thermometers and small case thermometers for ice cream freezers. Circa 1940 flyer called "Silent Testimony" for red column mercury thermometers. Circa 1940 catalog (No. 1000) illustrating thermometers for canners and preservers: for retorts and process kettles, cookers, exhausters , sterilizers , preserving , scalding tanks, solder pots and can soldering . Circa 1940 thermometers general catalog (no. 200-F): molten metal thermometer, solder bath thermometers, lead bath thermometers, recording thermometers, dial thermometers. Circa 1942 catalog (no. 300-D) for chemical , oil and various industries. Group of circa 1949-1952 catalogs bound together, entitled, "Palmer: Industrial, Recording and Dial Thermometers." Terms: psycrometer, hygrometer, 'red-reading mercury" and thermometers for dairy processing .
Printed advertisements, photographs (including negatives and slides), sales presentation materials and packaging; patent and legal information, clippings, posters, scripts for radio commercials, sheet music for jingles, etc. Also includes personal papers (correspondence) of Christian Nelson, inventor of the Eskimo Pie.
The collection is divided into eight series.
Biographical / Historical:
Eskimo Pie, America's first chocolate covered ice cream bar, was invented by Christian Kent Nelson in his home laboratory in 1920. Nelson patented his invention and the ice cream bar quickly rose in popularity in America. By 1922, Nelson was earning $2000 per day in royalties on his product.
Christian K. Nelson was born on March 12, 1893, in Gunstrup, Denmark, to Pedar Nelson and Margerethe Madesen Nelson. While Nelson was an infant, the seven Nelson children and their parents emigrated to the United States. The dairy farming family settled in Illinois, Wisconsin, and finally in Iowa in 1903. In Onawa, Iowa, Nelson opened a small confectionery shop near the high school where he worked as a teacher.
The inspiration for the invention of Eskimo Pie was a boy's indecision in Nelson's confectionery store in 1920. A boy started to buy ice cream, then changed his mind and bought a chocolate bar. Nelson inquired as to why he did not buy both. The boy replied, "Sure I know--I want 'em both, but I only got a nickel." For weeks after the incident, Nelson worked around the clock experimenting with different methods of sticking melted chocolate to frozen ice cream until he found cocoa butter to be the perfect adherent.
Immediately, he produced 500 ice cream bricks with a chocolate candy coating. The "I-Scream Bars" were a hit at the local village fireman's picnic and Nelson began searching for companies to manufacture his new product.
On July 13, 1921, Nelson and chocolate maker Russell C. Stover entered into a joint agreement to market and produce the product. It was decided the name would change from Nelson's "I-Scream Bar" to "Eskimo Pie". In the hand-written agreement composed the same day the two met for the first time, the entrepreneurs agreed to "coat ice cream with chocolate [sic] divide the profits equally." They decided to sell the manufacturing rights to local ice cream companies for $500 to $1000, plus royalties on each Eskimo Pie sold.
Nelson and Stover began their business venture with an advertising campaign in Des Moines, Iowa. The first 250,000 pies produced were sold within 24 hours. By spring 1922, 2,700 manufacturers sold one million Eskimo Pies per day.
On January 24, 1922, the United States granted patent number 1,404,539 for the Eskimo Pie. Nelson's patent applied to any type of frozen material covered with candy. Nelson also had the name "Eskimo Pie" trademarked. Initially, even the word "Pie" in a brand name frozen treat was covered by this trademark. The breadth of the patent was detrimental to Eskimo Pie because of growing legal costs associated with its defense.
Russell Stover sold his share of the company in 1922. Because of the cost of litigation, high salaried salesmen, and difficulties in collecting royalties, the company was sold in 1924. Eskimo Pie became a subsidiary of United States Foil Company, the supplier of the Eskimo Pie wrapper. Headed by R.S. Reynolds, Sr., the company later became known as Reynolds Metals Company.
In 1925, dry ice was invented. Nelson was eager to find a way to make buying Eskimo Pie as easy as buying another snack from a vendor. Nelson began to market thermal jugs with dry ice supplied with Eskimo Pies to vendors without access to a freezer. This increased visibility and distribution and made Eskimo Pie an "impulse" item.
The patent litigation continued until October 3, 1929, when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the lower courts declared that the 1922 patent was invalid, due to "lack of invention." Eskimo Pie resembled an earlier product that also called for ice cream with cocoa butter dipped in chocolate. The judge declared that Nelson had merely changed the shape for an existing product. Even his trademark on the work "pie" was invalidated, as the judge said the word had a wide variety of use.
Nelson retired to California and assigned his royalties to his wife, Myrtle Skidmore "Skid" Nelson. However, Nelson, reportedly "bored," came out of retirement in 1935 to rejoin Eskimo Pie and work on new products. Nelson continued to create ice cream innovations such as ice patties and colored ice cream holiday centers within Eskimo Pie products.
In 1955, Nelson was awarded a patent for his Eskimo Machine. The machinery squeezed out ice cream of the correct dimensions which was then cut into bars. This process was faster than the older method of molding the ice cream bar.
After a decline in sales during the Great Depression, Eskimo Pie received a boost from sales to the United States armed forces during World II. Rising commodity prices in the post war era forced the company to reduce the size of the product. However, the distinct foil wrapper remained the same. Nelson officially retired from Eskimo Pie in 1961 as vice-president and director of research. Surviving his wife by one year, he died March 8, 1992.
In 1992, Eskimo Pie became independent of Reynolds' Metals. The company continues to market dozens of shapes, sizes, and types of frozen treats. The brand name Eskimo Pie continues to have strong consumer recognition and has appeared in cartoons, movies, and even in Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary.
"He Made Kids Scream for Ice Cream," 1959, manuscript from collection
Nelson-Stover Agreement, July 13, 1921, manuscript from the collection
U.S. Patent 1,404,539 January 24, 1922, manuscript from the collection
Scope and Content Note
The Eskimo Pie Collection consists primarily of materials relating to the advertising, business, and packaging of its ice cream products. The collection includes numerous photographs, printed advertisements, and packaging materials. It also contains company annual reports and newsletters, business history, information on machines and equipment used in manufacturing the product, and the history of the invention of Eskimo Pie. The formulas and directions for creating many of the Eskimo Pie products are included.
Series 1: CHRISTIAN NELSON PAPERS, 1921-1992 - Contains personal information on the inventor of Eskimo Pie, Christian Nelson, including his correspondence and financial information. Most of the correspondence is business related.
Subseries 1: Christian Nelson Personal Papers, 1933-1988 - These materials include tax information, bank account information, and a few documents related to his personal life. Not many documents of a personal nature are in the collection. Most details of his life are found in magazine and newspaper clippings in Series 2, Subseries 4.
Subseries 2: Nelson Correspondence (by correspondent), 1944-1946 - This subseries contains Nelson's business correspondence previously arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The correspondence only dates from 1944-1946.
Subseries 3: Nelson and Business Correspondence (by date), 1920-1990 - Arranged chronologically by decade, this correspondence consists of letters on various topics that were scattered throughout the collection. Most of these letters are business related but many have personal notations within them. Not all letters include Nelson.
Series 2: HISTORICAL AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION, 1921-1992 - This series includes any information that helps to narrate the story of the invention of Eskimo Pie and the company that sold the product. It contains company scrapbooks of specific years, important historical documents regarding Eskimo Pie history, and newspaper clippings and magazine articles that summarize the detailed history of the company.
Subseries 1: Background Information on Company, 1921-1992 - This information includes company scrapbooks that contain articles, letters, promotions and/or advertisements for a particular year. The scrapbooks often relate the history of Eskimo Pie in past years as well as representing the year of the scrapbook. Other materials such as the Eskimo Pie patent, and information on Christian Nelson and Russell Stover with their original agreement are included.
Subseries 2: Information on Related Companies, 1947-1987 - This material contains annual reports and the company publications of Reynolds Aluminum which supplied the Eskimo Pie wrapper. Eskimo Pie became a subsidiary of Reynolds (then known as US Foil Company) in 1924. Other companies whose products are related to Eskimo Pie are also included.
Subseries 3: Patent and Legal Information, 1921-1965 - Important legal documents of the Eskimo Pie business are arranged in this subseries by type of document. The patents include many of Nelson's patents as well as other patents of invention related to ice cream.
Subseries 4: Newspaper Clippings and Magazine Articles, 1920-1990 - Most articles in the subseries are related to the history or business of Eskimo Pie, although a few are not. Cartoons that use the Eskimo Pie name are included.
Series 3: MANUFACTURING AND EQUIPMENT, 1922-1990 - This series documents the machinery and equipment used to produce, package, and freeze the ice cream. It also includes the specific formulas of Eskimo Pie products with ingredients and directions for their preparation.
Subseries 1: Machinery, 1922-1990 - This series is comprised of catalogues, plans, and brochures on general types of machines used to create ice cream along with very specific types of machines with specific names (such as the Eskimo Machine). It also includes video footage of a 1990 production line. Some photographs of equipment are included in the catalogues but other photographs of machinery can be found in Photographs under Series 5, Subseries 1.
Subseries 2: Formulae and Directions, 1942-1963 - Formulas and specifications to create certain Eskimo Pie products make up this series. The formulas and directions were sent to franchise manufacturers and field personnel and state how to use the machinery to create the desired product. The folders labeled with product numbers include booklets of formulas and the folders labeled with formulas of specific products are loose pages or additions to the booklets. Other formulas and directions for specific products can be found in some of the promotional brochures in Series 7 Subseries 4.
Series 4: ESKIMO PIE COMPANY RECORDS, 1951-1995 - The company records in this series are comprised of Annual Company Reports and Company Newsletters.
Subseries 1: Eskimo Pie Annual Reports, 1951-1995 - The Annual Reports include financial information as well as the names of the directors, officers, and management personnel for that particular year.
Subseries 2: Eskimo Pie Newsletters, 1968-1979 - These monthly newsletters function as a company information tool for employees. They include company news along with general interest features such as cartoons, news of the company sports teams, announcements of vacations and birthdays, etc.
Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES, 1928-1990 - This series consists of photographs and negatives of various subject matter.
Subseries 1: Photographs, 1928-1990 - These photographs are arranged by subject matter. Some of the main subject categories of the photographs include machinery and equipment, advertising, promotions, and pictures of Christian Nelson at company events.
Subseries 2: Photograph Negatives and Slides, 1928-1990 - This subseries includes many negatives of the photographs already contained in Subseries 1. Only one folder in this subseries is slides.
Series 6: ESKIMO PIE BUSINESS INFORMATION, 1921-1990 - This series consists of any records pertaining to the business of the Eskimo Pie company including finances, marketing, sales, promotions, personnel information, packaging, and publications. It does not include advertising.
Subseries 1: General Business Information, 1922-1990 - Business information that did not fit into any particular business category comprises this series. Each folder's information is very specific to its own particular topic and is arranged chronologically.
Subseries 2: Marketing, 1927-1996 - This series includes any marketing information that attempts to sell Eskimo Pie to the consumer. This information does overlap with some aspects of advertising and packaging, as they also function as marketing tools to promote increased buying. It also includes promotional materials for the film AWho's Minding the Mint?" which featured an Eskimo Pie ice cream man as a character. The information is organized by specific years or time periods.
Subseries 3: Employee Information and Incentives, 1952-1970 - This subseries includes general information such as personnel lists and phone lists but also includes incentive campaigns for employees. These incentive campaigns were directed towards salesmen, particularly route driver salesman, and propose prize rewards for sales. The booklets in box 31 include the ads for incentives to be sent out to the salesmen throughout the year. Along with the ads are explanations of the incentive and the company's reasoning behind its approach to the salesmen in that particular ad. The prizes to be awarded are not specifically listed but are displayed in pictures in many of the incentive ads.
Subseries 4: Premiums and Promotions, 1937-1990 - Information on premiums in which consumers save wrappers and send them to Eskimo Pie for goods as well as special promotions are included in this subseries. Lists of goods that can be purchased with the corresponding number of wrappers are included. Other promotions include prizes for contests or special offers with Eskimo proofs of purchase. This subseries includes promotional brochures that explain the new promotions.
Subseries 5: Financial Information, 1932-1990 - Any business information pertaining to Eskimo Pie's finances, sales, and\or profits is included in this subseries. It also includes U.S. Foil Royalty Reports that report the number of wrappers shipped and manufactured of different businesses including those of Eskimo Pie (Eskimo Pie was a subsidiary of U.S. Foil). The U.S. Foil reports are addressed to Myrtle Nelson. Bank information of Frozen Products, Inc., which manufactured Eskimo Pie and Eskimo confections, is also included.
Subseries 6: Packaging, 1921-1954 - This subseries consists of actual boxes, wrappers, lids, and sticks that were used in packaging Eskimo Pie products. The materials are organized by types of packaging and the dates of the materials are generally unclear.
Subseries 7: General Publications Related to Ice Cream, 1935-1990 - Listed in chronological order, these publications provide information on the ice cream, dairy, and chocolate industries in a specific time frame. These publications generally do not mention Eskimo Pie products.
Series 7: ADVERTISING MATERIALS, 1922-1992 - The advertising materials included in this series mainly consist of the actual advertisements. Little written information on specific advertising campaigns is included with the print, radio, and television advertisements. The promotional brochures do include some written information on the product the company is promoting.
Subseries 1: Print Advertisements, 1922-1989 - This subseries includes a range of types of advertisements. Some ads include printed ads in magazines and newspapers while many are proofs of advertisements that will go to print. Other types of advertisements include banners, decals, and railstrips which appear to be point of purchase displays for vending machines, ice cream stands, ice cream carts or trucks, or even the grocery store. Although the scrapbooks mainly consist of advertisements, they also include packaging, machinery, and marketing information.
Subseries 2: Radio Advertisements, 1930-1985 - This small subseries includes scripts for radio announcements and advertisements. The sheet music for the radio jingles, "I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream," "Oh My, Eskimo Pie,"and "New Eskimo Pie on a Stick" are included here.
Subseries 3: Television Advertisements, 1948-1992 - The television materials included consist of story boards, scripts for television advertisements with corresponding still photographs, television commercials, and little written information on television campaigns.
Subseries 4: Promotional Brochures, 1951-1964 - This subseries consists of materials pertaining to new products or special occasion items (e.g. Christmas, Halloween). The brochures were probably sent to vendors, distributors and /or ice cream producers. The brochures intended for vendors and distributors contain samples of advertising, packaging, point of purchase displays and in some instances, inexpensive premiums to be awarded to consumers. The brochures for ice cream manufacturers contain some of the same material as well as the formula and directions for the product, a list of equipment required, and a price list for rental of that equipment. The material, contained in the boxes has been organized alphabetically where possible.
Series 8: MISCELLANEOUS, 1921-1979 - This series includes materials found in the collection with no apparent relation to Christian Nelson or Eskimo Pie. Random materials that display the Eskimo Pie logo are also included.
The Eskimo Pie collection was donated on May 10, 1996, to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center.
The Division of Cultural History has several objects which are also part of the Eskimo Pie Collection.
The Archives Center holds many collections related to ice cream and the food industry including:
#58 Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (see Dairy)
#78 Faris and Yamna Naff Arab-American Collection, 1880-1995 (see waffle cone machine)
#112 Famous Amos Collection, 1979-1983
#300 Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, 1790-1980 (see Ice Cream)
The records provide rich research material on many stories, including: American invention, enterprise, and entrepreneurship; the origins and growth of franchising; popular food and culture; the development of roadside architecture; radio and television advertising; product marketing and promotion; regional studies; and gender issues such as beauty pageants and the role of women in the labor force.
Divided into 14 series.
Series 1: Tom Carvel Personal Information, 1917-1986
Series 2: Financial Information, 1969-1985
Series 3: Educational Information for Franchise Owners, 1954-1984
Series 4: Employee Magazines, 1956-1989
Series 5: Publicity Materials, 1950-1985
Series 6: Advertising Campaign Materials, 1957-1989
Series 7: Promotional Items, 1951-1986
Series 8: Store and Equipment Records, 1945-1973
Series 9: Vending Vehicles, 1958-1961
Series 10: Store Address Information, 1980s
Series 11: Photographs, 1936-1985
Series 12: Dugan's Bakery and Hubie Burger Records, 1950s-1960s
Series 13: Non-Carvel Franchise Information, 1950-1988
Series 14: Audiovisual Materials, 1972-1995
Biographical / Historical:
The Carvel Corporation is an American success story. Through hard work and timely luck, its founder and president, Tom Carvel, turned an ice cream trailer with a flat tire into an international chain of ice cream supermarkets with over 800 outlets in 17 states and six countries.
Thomas Andreas Carvelas was born July 14, 1906, in Athanassos, Greece. He was one of seven children of Andreas and Christina Karvelas. The family emigrated from Greece to Danbury, Connecticut, in 1910, and finally settled in New York City in 1920. His father was a chemist and wine specialist who helped support his family during prohibition by restoring fermented wine for Greek restaurant owners.
Tom's father sparked Tom's interest in how things worked. Tom tried his hand as a salesman of radios and automobiles, a test driver for Studebaker, and an auto mechanic. At the age of twenty-six, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and his doctors advised him to move out of the city. Consequently, he borrowed $1,000 from relatives and built a frozen custard trailer. His first break came on Memorial Day, 1934, when he borrowed $20 from Agnes Stewart (his future wife), bought a trailer load of custard, and set out to sell it to vacationers in Westchester County, New York. Tom Carvel suffered a minor setback when his trailer had a flat tire in Hartsdale, New York. But luck was on his side: there was a pottery shop across the street and Pop Quinlan, the potter, allowed him to use his electricity so the custard would not melt.
Tom Carvel kept his trailer on the pottery shop's lot and in his first year grossed $3,500. The following year, realizing that a permanent location could be profitable, he leased the shop for $100. In 1937, he borrowed more money and converted the trailer into a frozen custard stand, complete with a second-hand freezer which enabled him to make his own custard. By 1939, he was grossing $6,000 a year and was well on his way toward becoming the "Ice Cream King of the East."
In the early 1940s Agnes, his wife, operated the Hartsdale store while Carvel traveled the carnival circuits selling his frozen custard from a mobile vending vehicle. Next, he managed the ice cream cone stands at the post exchange at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Tom Carvel soon developed his own freezer model, known as a batch freezer, (the first of his sixteen U.S. Patent Registrations). In 1947, he sold 71 freezers at $2,900 each under the trade name "Custard King." When some owners defaulted on their payments Carvel discovered that many of the freezer owners were careless in their selection of locations, disregarded cleanliness, and worked sporadically, while others were selling additional, non-ice cream food items. Determined to make the venture succeed, he decided to oversee the operations of the freezer owners directly. He claimed to have developed the franchise concept in 1949 as a result of this strategy.
Franchise business opportunities allow investors to enter retailing without prior business experience and to own their own business. In the case of the Carvel Corporation, potential franchise owners bought equipment and supplies from the Corporation and used the Carvel name. In return, Carvel helped them select a location, taught them how to run an ice cream business, and organized resources for advertising and promotions. Franchise owners were taught the retail ice cream business at the Carvel College, an 18-day series of courses for potential store owners. There they learned about public relations, mechanics of the ice cream machines, local advertising, and making and freezing all kinds of ice cream cakes. They also received The Shopper's Road, an in-house magazine advising them on topics ranging from travel tips, to cooking, to marketing their products to the community.
From the beginning, the Carvel Dairy Freeze Chain stressed cleanliness, hard work, and a quality, all-natural product. Tom Carvel aimed to create a family-type environment for his franchise owners. He wanted people who would work hard and were eager to learn about the retail ice cream business in order to make their individual rags to riches stories come true. A unique and important element to the Carvel story was Tom Carvel's personal involvement --from an early date--in creating commercials for the stores. His was one of the first instances in which a Chief Executive Officer of a major corporation was featured in his company's commercials. In 1955, Carvel began making his own radio commercials. As the story goes, one day while driving in New York City he heard a commercial for a new Carvel store, but the announcer did not state its exact location. Convinced he could do a better job, he drove to the radio station and re-did the commercial himself. After this incident he started doing his own commercials on a full-time basis. Tom Carvel created a distinct style with his garbled delivery and "say it once" philosophy, with the idea that you have to grab people's attention and then let the product speak for itself. Carvel eventually set up an in-house production studio and advertising agency at the Carvel Inn, where most of his television and radio commercials were made.
The use of premiums was an essential marketing component for Carvel. In 1936, he introduced the "Buy One Get One Free" offer. He also used comic books, ice cream eating contests, and a beauty pageant for young girls, called the "Little Miss Half Pint Contest," to attract children. The Carvel Corporation also participated as a corporate sponsor for events like Walt Disney's "Great Ice Odyssey," "Carvel Night at the Rodeo," and numerous promotional tie-ins with the New York Yankees baseball team. Of all the sales promotions, it was the specialty products which brought the greatest notoriety to the Carvel name. From the "Flying Saucer" ice cream sandwich and the "Papapalooza" to the holiday and character ice cream cakes, customers could always count on a quality product. There were ice cream cakes for every holiday, including a "Flower Basket" for Mother's Day, "Fudgie the Whale" for Father's Day, "Tom the Turkey" for Thanksgiving, and a "Snow Man" for Christmas. Eventually, a customer could special order an ice cream cake for any occasion, using a toll-free phone number.
The Carvel Corporation enjoyed continued success and consistent expansion marked by Tom Carvel's innovative concepts in marketing. For example, in 1956, the Hartsdale location was converted into the first ice cream supermarket. Each store remained a full-service ice cream parlor, but now had the added convenience of self-serve freezers where customers could select ice cream specialty products such as Flying Saucers, Carvelogs, Brown Bonnets, and ice cream cakes.
In 1962, the Corporation experienced a crisis. Many franchise owners had begun buying cheaper ingredients and the chain was reduced to 175 stores. This potentially meant financial catastrophe for Tom Carvel and the company because it derived its profits from selling equipment and special mixes to store owners. Carvel insisted the franchise owners had obligations to the company and its customers to provide a uniform, quality product. Furthermore, the franchise owners had agreed to purchase raw ingredients from Carvel. When the Corporation tried to enforce this agreement, the Federal Trade Commission charged Carvel with allegations of coercion and restraint of trade. In 1964, after presenting his side before the full Federal Trade Commission and the Supreme Court, he won his case.
In 1967, Carvel purchased the Westchester Town House Motel, in Yonkers, New York, and changed the name to the Carvel Inn. It was both a full-service motel and the Executive Offices of the Carvel Corporation. It was here that store owners gathered for the annual educational seminars which reinforced the ideas taught by the Carvel College.
In the 1950s Tom Carvel had also developed the franchise concept for a hamburger chain called Hubie Burger. It served hamburgers, french fries, chicken, and waffles. It is ironic that Carvel began the Hubie Burger chain because at a dairy convention in 1956, Ray Kroc asked him if he was interested in setting up the McDonald's chain. It is said that at this time Carvel felt ice cream and hamburgers did not compliment each other and declined the offer. However, Carvel claimed to have given McDonald's permission to use the basic text of his franchise contract and his building design as models. Later, Carvel acquired Dugan's Bakery. However, neither Dugan's nor Hubie Burger was very successful.
Through his strong work ethic, creativity, and perseverance, Tom Carvel built up his ice cream chain and turned his dreams into reality. His achievements were recognized in 1957 when he was awarded the Horatio Alger Award. Carvel credited his success to his father and his wife, Agnes. His father sparked his interest in chemistry and engineering and his wife worked in the first Carvel store, which allowed him time to develop the Carvel Corporation Franchise System. In 1989, he sold the Carvel Corporation to an international investment company, Investcorp, for more than 80 million dollars. Tom Carvel died in 1990. The Carvel name lives on through the Carvel Ice Cream Bakery Company, operated by Investcorp.
The Archives Center holds many collections related to ice cream and the food industry including:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Diary (AC0060)
Faris and Yamna Naff Arab-American Collection (see waffle cone machine) (AC0078)
Famous Amos Collection (AC0112)
Sam DeVincent Collection of Ilustrated American Sheet Music (see Ice Cream) (AC0300)
Good Humor Collection (AC0451)
Eskimo Pie Collection (AC0553)
Krispy Kreme Donut Corporation Records (AC0594)
These records were generously donated to the Archives Center by Mrs. Agnes Carvel, in May 1993.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction of some materials restricted due to copyright or trademark.
Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.