George Washington Looooved Ice Cream
Presidential records are essential for documenting goings-on in the White House. Specifically, they tell us exactly how much the president cares about ice cream.
George Washington bought a "Cream Machine for Ice" in 1784. This was a time when the founders had quite a lot of work on their hands, so it's safe to assume that one of the two major cable news networks at the time ran extensive coverage smearing him for this frivolous purchase. When Washington moved to the President's House in Philadelphia (the White House wasn't ready yet), he brought with him a vast collection of crockery dedicated solely to serving ice cream, including "ice cream moulds," "iceries," "ice plates," and 36 "ice pots."
Here's the fact, though, that really stands out about Washington and the sweet stuff. In just one summer, the summer of 1790, during which he lived in New York, the nation's capital at the time, George Washington spent $200 ordering ice cream from an ice cream merchant on Chatham Street.
How much was $200 in 1790? It was significantly more than the average employed American made in a year. It was enough to buy a literal ton of cheese, or 2 tons of tobacco. Or, let's put it this way: He could have used that same money to buy 4 acres of land in New York, but he instead chose to spend it on ice cream.
Yeah, Washington was a wealthy man, and ice cream was a luxury. Plain regular cream was a luxury, and the sugar and salt needed to make ice cream needed to be imported. They had no freezers back then of course, and ice had to be harvested from frozen rivers during the winter and stored at some expense in ice houses during the summer.
Here's another popular presidential ice cream fact for you: Thomas Jefferson was the man who introduced ice cream to the United States. Like so many fun facts about Thomas Jefferson, this fact is completely untrue.
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For more on ice cream, check these out:
5 Reasons Being an Ice Cream Man is Shockingly Hard Core
The Giant Ice Cream Factory That Couldn't
Makers of Cheap Ice Cream Charge You Extra For A Whole Bunch Of Air
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