Friday / Weekend Open Line

One of the joys of summer — a trip to the ice cream store for several dips of your favorite flavor — goes back to this month in 1786, when Hall’s Ice Cream Store opened on Chatham Street in New York City. But the supply was limited. In 1851, Baltimore milk dealer Jacob Fussell decided to make ice cream commercially. He built larger versions of the hand-cranked machines still popular today for backyard picnics. However, ice cream didn’t become a widespread favorite until the advances in electrical power and refrigeration in the early 20th century. In 1910, each American consumed a little less than two pounds of ice cream a year. Today, counting all frozen dairy products, that figure is over 24 pounds. Profile America is in its 17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.