The ice cream man
Getting ice cream to the masses was a mammoth task.
It wasn’t like today with modern freezers. You needed milk or cream, sugar and of course to freeze it - which meant ice or snow. It had to be made in a modified butter churn. There was no popping down to the supermarket.
So when Wellington hotelier James Osgood advertised - for the first time in New Zealand - that ice cream would be served at his hotel - the Empire - it was a big deal.
Not the least part of which was that ice was being imported into New Zealand from the Lake Wenham Ice Company in Massachusetts.
On January 27, 1866, Osgood put out the advert that ice cream would be served and that he had Wenham Ice.
It doesn’t say what flavour or how much it was. But it was new.
Osgood wasn’t a stranger to new. He is sometimes credited with revolutionising hotel care and stays in New Zealand.
An American, from New York, Osgood had been born in 1829 and on coming to New Zealand had gone into the hotel trade.
He ran the Empire - where the old BNZ centre is now - and later others, opening a family style hotel in the Hutt and also the Metropolitan where he was the host.
The arrival of refrigeration in the 1870’s changed things again, along with ice available commercially.
It still wouldn’t have been something that could easily be made at home.
Ice cream began being advertised around the country - it had to be made fresh daily.
In 1875 a W Marshall, a fruiterer who had a shop on Lambton Quay in Wellington was advertising the manufacture of ice cream on a commercial basis.
Osgood was considered a master of hospitality, twice he was appointed in charge of Parliament’s own restaurant Bellamy’s.
He is also considered one of the founder’s of Wellington’s volunteer fire brigade.
Osgood died October 29, 1876 after a long illness and was buried in the Bolton St Cemetery. His funeral procession was accompanied by the local fire brigades and the City Rifle Band.
Picture by Lama Roscu.
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