Monday, July 29, 2013

Bud Bowman Ice Cream Bars – July 1962

With all the writing here about ice cream and spaghetti lately, this is almost turning into a food blog!

I've mentioned a few times that I remember a huge, painted sign for Bowman's Ice Cream on the side of Whalen Drugs in the 1960s. Well, here's a Bowman Ice Cream ad featuring Bud Bowman that appeared in the  Lorain Journal on July 12, 1962.

Courtesy of Ebay
The smiling cartoon archer advertising mascot not only appeared in Bowman ads, but also was featured on other items such as the promotional button shown at left that was recently on Ebay.

Online research reveals that the Bowman Dairy Company was based in Chicago with roots in that city dating back to the 1880s. By the late 1940s, the company had grown to become the largest distributor of milk in that city and employed 4,000 people. 
Bowman expanded into other Midwest cities by acquiring ice cream companies and small dairies in neighboring states. This included some companies in Cleveland, and that's why Bowman had such a big presence in Lorain despite all of the local dairies such as Lorain Creamery.
At the time of the above 1962 ad, Bowman Ice Cream was sold at more than 60 dealers in the Lorain County area. Besides Whalen Drug, the dealer list in Lorain included Bob's Donuts, National Pharmacy, Fligner's Market, Reagan Grocery and Middendorf Pharmacy. In Sheffield Lake, you could find Bowman Ice Cream at the Sheffield Grill (now Dock's Tavern). In Elyria, it was available at the Hess & Hess Drug chain, Ed's Cigar Store, Serfozo Grocery and at Foodway stores.

Unfortunately, the Bowman Dairy Co. experienced some legal problems during the 1950s, being charged with violating anti-trust laws. A declining home delivery market also contributed to its downfall, and in 1966 the company was sold to the Dean Foods Company.


Roadtrip62 - Don Milne said...

Wow, I hadn't thought about Bowman's Dairy in ages. They used to distribute in Saginaw, MI, too. As a kid, I remember some confusion between Bowman's and Sealtest: one became the other here, I think. Probably the result of one of the buyouts you mention. Thanks for the memory.

ldysunrise said...

Just came across this website. I had forgotten about Bowmans. I had just posted on the Lorain 365 fb page about Middendorf's. Fond memories of christmas set ups in their basement, wish i had a picture always amazed me as a little girl. It was a Christmas wonderland

Anonymous said...

I have some Bowman Ice Cream paper Pirate masks for Halloween