Augustus Jackson (1808-1852)

Augustus Jackson
Augustus Jackson
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Who are they:

Augustus Jackson worked as a chef in the White House in Washington D.C. He is known for making ice cream. Augustus created many new and popular ice cream flavors.

Why are they important to know about:

Augustus Jackson invented a better way of making ice cream. He is sometimes called the modern-day “Father of Ice Cream.” Jackson did not invent ice cream but his ice cream recipes became famous.

Details of the life of the person:

Augustus Jackson started working in the White House when he was nine years old. He became a top chef. Augustus was a cook from 1817 until 1837. He cooked for three United States presidents. He cooked for President James Monroe, President John Quincy Adams, and President Andrew Jackson. Augustus was an excellent chef. Sometime in the 1830s Augustus Jackson stopped working as a chef. He left Washington D.C. He moved back to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Augustus opened his own business. He was a candy confectioner (candy maker). Augustus Jackson discovered a new way to make ice cream. Most early ice cream recipes used eggs. Augustus’s recipes were eggless. Augustus added salt to the ice. He mixed salt, new flavors, and cream. The salt made his flavors taste even better. The salt also lowered the temperature of the ice cream. Now the ice cream could be kept cold for a longer time. Augustus packaged his ice cream in metal tins. He sold the tins to ice cream parlors owned by other Black people in Philadelphia. Augustus sold his ice cream for $1 a quart. He made a lot of money. Augustus became one of the wealthiest people in the city of Philadelphia. His ice cream was called “Philadelphia style.” Augustus Jackson did not patent or protect his ice cream recipes. He shared his way of making ice cream. He shared his ideas with other Black ice cream parlor owners. The cost of making ice cream went down. More people could afford to enjoy ice cream. When Black people moved north, they took their ice cream recipes with them. This helped spread people’s love of ice cream to new places.

Their lasting impact:

Augustus Jackson invented a way of making ice cream that is still used today. He used salt. Salt lowered the temperature of the ice cream. It also made the flavors taste better.

What we learned from them:

Good training at a job gives you skills that you can use later. When Augustus Jackson experimented, he discovered new things. While Augustus Jackson did not invent ice cream, his ice cream recipes became famous, Jackson’s eggless “Philadelphia style” ice cream is why many ice creams today do not use eggs.

For more information please go to BlackPast.org.