Early Good Humor Ice Cream Neon Sign
Size 30"Wx13"T, Tin litho raised letter metal original good humor sign with working neon also is mounted on can.
History - In 1919, Christian Nelson, an Iowa store owner, discovered how to coat an ice cream bar with chocolate, inventing the Eskimo Pie. When he heard of the discovery, Harry Burt (1875–1926), owner of a Youngstown, Ohio, ice cream parlor, replicated Nelson's product. The story is that Burt's 23-year-old daughter Ruth thought that the new novelty was too messy. Burt's son, Harry Jr. (1900–1972), suggested using a wooden stick as a convenient handle. They tried out the idea in the store's hardening room, where they discovered that the stick formed a strong bond when the ice cream crystallized. Burt outfitted twelve street vending trucks in Youngstown with rudimentary freezers and bells to sell his "Good Humor Ice Cream Suckers" in 1920. The first set was from his son's old bobsled. By 1925, Harry Burt Jr. opened a franchise in Miami, Florida.
In January 1922, Burt applied for patents, which were not granted until October 1923 because the patent office thought Good Humors were too similar to Eskimo Pies. The patents were only granted when Burt Jr. traveled to Washington, D.C. with samples to demonstrate the difference. When granted, Good Humor's patents were for the equipment and process to manufacture frozen novelties on a stick, but not for the product itself.
During this period, Frank Epperston started marketing frozen ice on a stick and formed the Popsicle Corporation. Six months after Popsicle received its patent in August 1924, Good Humor sued Popsicle Corporation, and by October 1925 the parties settled out of court. Popsicle agreed to pay Good Humor a licence fee to manufacture what was called frozen suckers from ice and sherbet products. Good Humor reserved the right to manufacture these products from ice cream, frozen custard, and the like.
Harry Burt died in 1926, and two years later his widow sold her interest to the Midland Food Products Company, owned by a group of Cleveland businessmen. They changed the company's name to the Good Humor Corporation of America and started selling franchises with a $100 down payment. Cora Burt retained the license agreement with Popsicle. Thomas J. Brimer (1900–1978) purchased the Good Humor franchise for the Detroit territory and by 1929 opened his second plant in Chicago. The mob demanded $5,000 protection money and destroyed part of the Chicago fleet when Brimer refused. The resulting publicity helped put Good Humor on the map.
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