Gatti's Ice

Just over a hundred and fifty years ago, summer afternoons would pass by with no chance for an ice-cream: they simply weren't for sale to ordinary members of the public. One of the first people to sell ice-cream publicly in the UK - maybe even the first - was Carlo Gatti; and his ice-cream manufactury was in Wandsworth, just near a curve of the Thames on what is now Parkgate Road.

Gatti arrived in London from Switzerland in 1847, and promptly set to work. Ice-cream, yes: he sold it in shells for a penny. Other cold things, too: he came to an agreement with the Regent's Canal Company, and removed ice from the canal, which he sold, as well as using it to make his own ice-cream. In the 1850s, he was selling and using so much ice that he had to import 400 tons of the stuff from Norway!

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Picture by Viviane Schwarz
Story source: The Canal Museum, Carlo Gatti, Ice Entrepeneur.