HENDLER’S: The Velvet Kind, An Image Gallery Part 1
Article by Rachel Kassman. Originally published in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways.
The Hendler Creamery Company is Born
Hendler’s Ice Cream was an iconic Baltimore treat for 60 years. The Hendler Creamery Company began as “Miller & Hendler” in 1905, founded by Louis Miller and L. Manuel Hendler. Hendler quickly moved to the forefront, purchasing Miller’s interest in the business in 1907 and, in 1912, incorporating it as “The Hendler Creamery Company.” Shortly thereafter Hendler purchased the former power house of the Baltimore City Passenger Railway Company, transforming the building into a state-of-the-art ice cream manufacturing plant.
In 1929 Hendler’s was purchased by the Borden Company. Manuel, and later his son Albert, became executives with the Borden Company, continuing to manufacture and distribute ice cream under the Hendler Creamery name until Albert’s retirement in 1965. At one point, Hendler’s had 400 stores and a fleet of 120 delivery trucks, selling its ice cream in numerous neighborhood groceries and drugstores. Known as “The Velvet Kind,” Hendler’s Ice Cream is fondly remembered for its 60 years of cool and tasty treats.
A Technological Leap
The Hendler Creamery Company was known for its technological advances. Between them, L. Manuel Hendler and his son Albert held 32 patents related to ice-cream making. Albert recalls that “my father, though he didn’t know it, designed the first air conditioning system. That was not his original intention. His purpose was to devise a method for protecting the ice cream plant from flies. To compensate for closing it off to the outside, he ventilated the building by blowing in air which traveled through ducts connected to coils. In wintertime heat was produced by steam, and in summer brine pumped through the coils cooled the interior. By the time we learned the significance of his invention the patent had expired.”
The photo set shown here, by photographer George C. Pace, highlights the company’s commitment to modernization and advancement. The photo captions were written by Hendler advertising executives to highlight the company’s status as the “cleanest and most modern plant in the world.”