Candy Maker Augustus Jackson Was Known as "The Father of Ice Cream"

Augustus Jackson created several ice cream recipes

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African-American Augustus Jackson was a candy confectioner from Philadelphia who created several ice cream recipes and invented an improved method of manufacturing ice cream around 1832. He was dubbed the "Father of Ice Cream" (although he did not invent ice cream).

The origins of ice cream can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and contrary to popular folklore Augustus Jackson did not invent ice cream itself, however, he was an accomplished businessman and helped to perfect the making of ice cream at that time.


Jackson left his position as a White House chef to move to Philadelphia in the late 1820s, where he started his own successful catering business. Jackson created several popular ice cream flavors which he distributed packaged in tin cans to the ice cream parlors of Philadelphia.

At that time, many African-Americans owned ice cream parlors or were ice cream makers in the Philadelphia area. Jackson was the most successful and his ice cream flavors were well loved.

Jackson did not apply for any patents.

The Earliest Ice Creams

Ice cream dates back to the year 400 and continued to evolve through the 16th century.

  • During the 5th century BC, ancient Greeks ate snow mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens. 
  • In 400 BC, the Persians invented a special chilled food, made of rose water and vermicelli, which was served to royalty. The ice was mixed with saffron, fruits, and various other flavors.
  • A frozen mixture of milk and rice was used in China around 200 BC. 
  • The Roman Emperor Nero (37–68 AD) had ice brought from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings to create chilled desserts.
  • In the 16th century, the Mughal emperors used relays of horsemen to bring ice from the Hindu Kush to Delhi, where it was used in fruit sorbets.

    The History of Ice Cream in Europe

    When Italian duchess Catherine de' Medici married the Duke of Orléans (Henry II of France) in 1533, she is said to have brought with her to France some Italian chefs who had recipes for flavored ices or sorbets. One hundred years later, Charles I of England was so impressed by the "frozen snow" that he offered his own ice cream maker a lifetime pension in return for keeping the formula secret, so that ice cream could be a royal prerogative. There is no historical evidence to support these legends, which first appeared during the 19th century.

    The first recipe in French for flavored ices appears in 1674.  Recipes for sorbetti saw publication in the 1694 edition of Antonio Latini's Lo Scalco alla Moderna (The Modern Steward). Recipes for flavoured ices begin to appear in François Massialot's Nouvelle Instruction pour les Confitures, les Liqueurs, et les Fruits, starting with the 1692 edition. Massialot's recipes result in a coarse, pebbly texture. Latini claims that the results of his recipes should have the fine consistency of sugar and snow.

    Ice cream recipes first appeared in England in the 18th century. The recipe for ice cream was published in Mrs. Mary Eales's Receipts in London in 1718

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    Bellis, Mary. "Candy Maker Augustus Jackson Was Known as "The Father of Ice Cream"." ThoughtCo, Nov. 26, 2016, Bellis, Mary. (2016, November 26). Candy Maker Augustus Jackson Was Known as "The Father of Ice Cream". Retrieved from Bellis, Mary. "Candy Maker Augustus Jackson Was Known as "The Father of Ice Cream"." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2018).