June 12, 2012
Clad's Disher — World's first mechanical ice cream server
It was invented in 1876 by William Clewell, a confectionary story owner in Reading, Pennsylvania, in order to let soda fountain operators "measure out consistent portions of ice cream and deposit them 'on a plate or saucer in a molded and attractive condition.'"
More, from the July & August issue of Cooks' Illustrated: "The server spooned ice cream into the bell-like mold and then inverted it over a dish. A few turns of the heart-shaped key on top rotated two scraper blades around the inside, releasing the frozen dessert. When we tried out this quaint dipper, we were struck by the novelty of the cone-shaped scoops that it produced — but its two-handed operation was clunky and awkward compared with modern-day scoops."
Methinks Cooks' Illustrated is being far too hard on Clewell's breakthrough, whose patented design was manufactured by Mr. Valentine Clad, a Philadelphia tinsmith.
Does the fact the Wright Brothers' first successful flyer looked like a bunch of oversized toothpicks glued together and on its first flight on December 17, 1903 flew just 120 feet, staying aloft for only 12 seconds, make it "clunky and awkward" compared to a modern day jumbo jet or fighter?
To me, that first plane (below, taking wing on December 17, 1903)
is a thing of great beauty, an incredible achievement embodying all that's best of the human animal.
Let's not be too judgmental when we cast an eye back at our ancestors.
Hindsight is always 50-50.
Wait a sec, that's not right....
I found about 10 Clads' Dishers on eBay (below, an exemplar),
starting at around $30, if you're in the mood for a bit of Americana in your own kitchen.
June 12, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink
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Ask anyone in Brazil who invented the airplane and they will say Alberto Santos-Dumont, a 5-foot-4-inch bon vivant who was as known for his aerial prowess as he was for his dandyish dress and high society life in Belle Epoque Paris.
Posted by: Thiago | Jun 13, 2012 6:13:42 PM
Thanks Antares, I thought as much, since my son just did a "living museum" report on the Wright brothers. He played Orville who tossed a coin with Wilbur and then flew the first flight alone.
Posted by: tamra | Jun 13, 2012 3:09:58 AM
"is a thing of great beauty, an incredible achievement embodying all that's best of the human animal." - you said it well joe
a good historical summary
Posted by: sherlock | Jun 12, 2012 9:32:03 PM
The flight shown in the video is NOT of the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, 17 December 1903.
The flight shown is the first public demonstration of an airplane at Le Mans, Paris, 08 August 1908.
Posted by: anatares | Jun 12, 2012 5:48:44 PM
The ice cream measurer-outer looks to me like it would function quite nicely. But two hands - oh, the hardship! - how would we cope?
And speaking of ice cream scoopage, my mother gave me a good tip for walk-in ice cream parlor visits: if there is more than one person scooping, stand in the line of the individual who is least skinny to increase your chances of a heftier-sized scoop in the cone or cup. Her rationale was that the very skinny scooper might be used to practicing self-denial, which might be extended (within limits of the store's scoop size policies) unconsciously even to scoops not intended for self-consumption, and the heftier scooper might create scoops more in line with what most Americans see as "normal"-sized (i.e., XL to huge) portions. She swore that it worked, but I can remember receiving gigantic scoops from rail-thin, spindly scoopers enough times to have my doubts.
If I could've been there to observe any earth-shaking past event, the Wright Brothers' Kitty Hawk flight would be the one. I probably would've fainted dead away from wild excitement and joy in possibility.
Posted by: Flautist | Jun 12, 2012 2:16:19 PM
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