Eskimo Pie Coolers
Eskimo Pie Coolers are large thermos jar coolers produced by the Eskimo Pie ice cream brand, designed to keep ice cream bars cool.

History & Description

An Eskimo Pie Cooler
An Eskimo Pie Cooler

Eskimo Pie chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bars were the first of this type of dessert to be sold in the United States. They were patented in 1921 by Danish immigrant Christian Kent Nelson, who conceived the idea of a solid brick of ice cream covered in chocolate.

The coolers came about in the early 1930s, some marketed as ‘Magic Jars’. They were designed to keep the ice cream bars cold, in place of a freezer.

They were, in part, a response to the Great Depression. In order to survive during these difficult times, ice cream wholesalers began to aim at getting their products into supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as selling from ice cream stands and parlours. However, most supermarkets did not possess refrigerated cases for frozen foods until the end of the 1930s.

The Eskimo Pie Corporation in Louisville, KY, solved this problem by providing insulated containers, the Eskimo Pie Coolers. The company manufactured their ice creams in cylindrical molds, that fit inside these thermos vacuum jars.

Supermarkets and grocery stores were supplied with large containers, and they also marketed smaller coolers for home use, that customers would place a deposit on in the supermarket, and then return to the store for reuse.

The coolers generally kept ice cream frozen for 24 hours when placed in a refrigerator, or 7 hours without refrigeration.

The Eskimo Pie coolers are made up of an insulated metal thermos canister atop three Eskimo figures bracing their backs against the cylinder, serving as feet. They have lids with cork liner and rubber gasket.

They are generally decorated in bright colours with Eskimo Pie advertising. Several examples have the Eskimo Pie brand logo, and the phrase: ‘Bracing as a frosty morning, real ice cream enrobed in chocolate’.

Collecting Eskimo Pie Coolers

These items are quite rare and can be valuable. They are most likely to be found on websites such as eBay, or in antique shops and provincial auctions in America. Some examples are still in good working order, and keep ice cream, or other items, cool for many hours.

Value of Eskimo Pie Coolers

Eskimo Pie coolers generally sell for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

An Eskimo Pie Cooler was featured on the American reality television programme Storage Wars, valued at $3,000.

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