Auto Vacuum Freezer Ice Cream, anyone?


I’ve stumbled on an old copy of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book from 1923, by none other than Fannie Merritt Farmer of that revered classic. Besides the interesting content, which I’ll be writing about later I’m sure, the book is a treasure trove of old food ads. I’m going to be posting a few of them in the coming days. (I’ve got a bit of a computer issue at the moment so no long posts from me for a few more days.)

This one, for example, is an ad for a contraption to make ice cream. I wonder what it’s all about. Something perhaps related to using liquid nitrogen which, strangely enough, is hardly new at all.

I’ve tried to find more information about this particular contraption on the web, but so far my search has turned up nothing. Has anyone heard of this company? Do you know what this Vacuum Freezer thing is exactly?

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  • Srdjan

    Hey I’ve just found a very good and detailed story about the Beldray Vacuum Ice Cream maker that looks exaclty the same as the one that you found. Not to do with liquid nitrogen, but just ice… Here is the Web address:

  • Jennifer Klinec

    In the 1920s a man called Clarence Vogt produced the first ice cream maker that involved ‘continuous process’ freezing which meant that you didn’t have to churn it in small batches with those old fashioned ‘bucket, ice and rock salt’ contraptions that people use. This opened up the market for being able to produce large quantities of ice cream on a commercial scale.
    I think the Auto Vacuum Freezer one in your photo is one of these new models of ice cream makers. I think the ‘Auto Vacuum’ part is just the name of the company rather than having much to do with the actual freezing process.
    Something exciting – I found this recipe for ‘Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream’:
    Maybe something to try on a rainy day?
    Jennifer Klinec

  • Mike Sowden

    There’s one of them here:
    ….if you look at the ‘group shot’ of ice-cream-makers, on the far right of the table.
    The author might be able to explain its workings, if you e-mail him/her…..

  • Pim

    Wow, thanks, I know you guys know stuff.
    I wonder if it’s still possible to buy one of these…might be kind of fun to try it.

  • Brad

    I was searching for information on this ice cream maker, hopefully will find more. My dad and I picked one up today at an auction for $5. Not in the best shape, needs some gaskets replaced, a little rusted and beat up on the outside, but everything else looks good. Even had the original booklet. If anyone finds any more information on the company, I would appreciate an email.
    Thanks, Brad

  • Ginny

    I have the original booklet “Auto Vacuum Frozen Dainties”, published 1923. The cover is very pretty.

  • kay

    I happen to have one of these auto vaccum ice cream freezer and I just listed it on ebay a couple of days ago. I got it at an auction so i really don’t know much about how it works though.

  • Patty

    I have this ice cream freezer in very good shape…it has the directions on it how to freeze ice cream or ice pack food….it was patented in Jan.2 -1912 to Oct.9 1923 and has that printed on side and stamped into the metal on top.I was thinking about listing it on ebay. It was made in Winchenden,Mass…USA and was called the Auto Vacumn Ice Cream Freezer by the company of the same name

  • Patty

    I forgot to say this ice cream freezer uses just ice & rock salt layered ,then you pour water over the top, seal it and flip it over to put in the ice cream mixture…it has a table of ice to salt ratio on it for 1- 4 qts. and states the more salt the quiker the freeze but the slower the freeze the smoother the ice cream will be …it also instructs to open & stir once in a while during the freeze process….scraping the frozen ice cream off the side….its very interesting.Patty

  • Weird Ice Cream

    I wonder how it works, rock salt and ice I guess

  • Faye

    I have one of the orginal vacuum ice cream freezers. They were made by the Auto Vacuum Freezer Co, Inc New York between 1912 and 1923. You put ice and salt in one end and milk and sugar in the other end. It was the convenient way to make ice cream without all of the cranking.

  • under counter freezer

    I think the Auto Vacuum Freezer one in your photo is one of these new models of ice cream makers. I think the ‘Auto Vacuum’ part is just the …

  • Alimack98

    we actually own one of these freezers dates jan.07,1912

  • Claire

    just read your article because I found on of these IceCream freezers in my grandmother’s things. It is exactly like the ad shown.    Anyone interested in it??? It dates 1912 made in the USA

  • Tom Garcia

    I have one of the ice cream makers and would like to know the value.  Any ideas?

  • Luceroderonda

    What are you asking for your ice cream maker ?

  • chelle

    Ive recently purchased this unique contraption & have no idea as to its age or indeed how it works! I have a love of functional objects from our past & wish to preserve them so as to pass on our heritage to my grandchildren. Indeed my home resembles a museum but one which offers a not only a wealth of many extinct items from pre victorian through to the 70s but has become a great talking point. All i know is my one is made of tin 21cm in height & 23cm across. There are two locking devices one on the top & one underneath. According to instruction on tin it advises one to turn the drum upside down to make ice-cream! I have never seen one of its kind & now am intrigued like to yourself as to how it actually works. If you are succesful in obtaining any info please pass it on to me.Many thanx Chelle

  • Bev

    I have this Auto Vacuum ice cream maker in almost perfect condition. Cream mixture goes in one end and ice-salt mixture in other end. It supposedly makes a batch in about 45 minutes and you just have to turn it over once in a while. About 100 years old. Depending on condition, the sell for $50-$100.