The First Ice Cream Ad Ever

Caitlin Schneider

In May of 1774, the New-York Gazette ran a small, wordy ad from a confectioner named Filippo Lenzi. The notice announced that Monsieur Lenzi had just arrived from London and would make and sell a variety of goodies including jams and jellies, sugar plums, sugar ornaments, candy and—most importantly—ice cream. Up until this point, ice cream was still a luxury, largely made and enjoyed at home. But as the decade went on, things began to change.

New-York Historical Society

In this first public announcement, Lenzi had not yet established a place of business. Three years later, he moved his shop from Dock Street to Hanover Square while British troops occupied the city. A 1777 Gazette ad assured prospective customers that he would continue to sell his goods, and concluded the plug with, “May be had almost every day, ice cream.”