Pewter Ice Cream Moulds are extremely popular among those who collect ice cream memorabilia.
Ice cream moulds have been around for about 200 years. The precise date as to when moulds were first used to produce "fancy forms" of ice cream may never be determined historical data is quite difficult to obtain. It is estimated that approximately 2500-3000 different designs were produced. Moulds were made in two basic sizes. The most common size is the Individual mould, which was meant to serve a single portion. The second size is normally called a Banquet mould. It is much larger and was primarily used as a centerpiece for entertaining and served from 4-10 people. Banquet moulds are quite rare and command premium prices when they are found.
A number of different companies were known to have produced pewter moulds. In the United States, two major competing firms arose. First on the scene in 1854 was Schall & Co. located in New York. This company became the Krauss Co. in 1860. The second major mould-making firm in the United States was the Eppelsheimer Co., also located in New York. These two companies produced thousands upon thousands of moulds which were sold to ice cream companies, bakeries, confectioners, and caterers, who did the actual "moulding" of the ice cream forms which then became the highlight of many a party during the late 1800's and on through the 1950's. The vast majority of moulds found in collections today had their origin with these two companies. Mould companies also were active in Europe, particularly in France, Germany, and England.
Moulds frequently are found with letters/numbers on them. These were added by the makers to identify their work. E & Co., NY is often found on Eppelsheimer moulds, while S & Co identified the Schall Company. A mould marked E & Co. #1144 can be identified as a Poinsettia (mould #1144) made by the Eppelsheimer Co. Most companies produced catalogues listing moulds by number for retailers - these are of great help in identifying moulds today.