1. Emerson A. Bolen
  2. Kitchen Matches
  3. The Yankee
  4. The Northwestern Novelty Company
  1. Diversification
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Waldo Bolen
  4. New Horizons in Bulk Vending
  1. Landmark Machines
  2. Disaster
  3. Pat and Richard Bolen
  4. Nortwestern Today

Chapter 6: Ice Cream

Having survived the war and the inflationary period which accompanied its ending, Emerson Bolen saw a great opportunity to expand his business in 1922. An inventor had brought Bolen a model of a machine to automatically make chocolate coated ice cream bars. Bolen perfected the model and readied it for production. But the company's resources were insufficient to put the machine on the market. As a result, in 1922, Northwestern Novelty Company changed its name to The Northwestern Corporation and issued stock to 80 investors, most of them local citizens.

The ice cream bar machine sold well to Eskimo Pie Company and to JoLo (which makes popsicles). Waldo Bolen Sr. figured that by 1945, when Northwestern sold the device to the Mojonnier Company in Chicago, about one out of three U.S. ice cream companies had purchased one of the machines.

"We decided to get out of this phase of the business for two reasons," Waldo said. We felt that we'd do better concentrating on the vending machine business. And then, too, the larger ice cream companies had by then adopted the brine tank (molded) rather than mechanical method of making ice cream bars."