May 21, 2024

Black Entrepreneur History

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Augustus Jackson – Known As Father of Ice Cream For Making Ice Cream Better

Once upon a time in Black Entrepreneur History lived an African American man named Augustus Jackson who became the father of ice cream as we know ice cream today because he invented a way to keep ice cream from melting so fast, allowing it to remain cold much longer while it is being sold and distributed versus previous ice cream recipes. This means that he made ice cream much more enjoyable for many generations after him, and he also invented various flavors of the enjoyable, cold treat.

Augustus Jackson was born during a time when African Americans were enslaved during the early 1800s. He worked at the White House as a chef. It was while he worked that he learned of the previously ice cream recipes, but to Augustus Jackson, that ice cream wasn’t good enough. Therefore, he made it better – much better!

In fact, he made it so much better that he eventually became the best African American confectioner in Philadelphia (at the time, there were five Black confectioners in the city) when he left his White House work and started an ice cream business on his own.

Augustus Jackson made his version of ice cream last much longer by adding plain old salt, and he also made his version of ice cream without the use of eggs. To top everything else, he created different flavors of ice cream that we enjoy today – Strawberry, Vanilla and even Mint. In totality, those three major changes set Augustus Jackson’s ice cream apart from all others. The invented mixture decreased the temperature of the ice cream which kept it at the much needed colder temperature for a longer stretch of time, making transport and storage much easier because it wouldn’t melt as fast. Imagine less mess and more enjoyment along with absolute best flavor on a hot day.

At the time Augustus Jackson invented and sold his own elite version of ice cream, he became known as the Father of Ice Cream because his was literally the best version anyone had ever tasted and seen. He sold and distributed his ice cream in cans to Black-owned ice cream parlors in the city and to those who passed by wanting to buy. He became one of the wealthiest African American businessmen in Philadelphia of his time. His twist on ice cream is still being used today, continuing to make ice cream makers millionaires. Jackson being a businessman, it is quite possible that he tried to patent his idea, but couldn’t patent his ice cream idea because during those times, many African Americans were turned away from securing their inventions simply because they were born Black.

He passed away prior to the abolition of slavery in 1852, but he left lasting memories despite much of those memories not being officially recorded due to the times in which he lived.


  1. The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)04 Aug 2019, Sun Page B3