A Folklorist Looks at Ice Cream Vans

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Of all the commercial road vehicles that have toured the streets and tourist spots of Britain, Ireland, America, and Australia over nearly a century, none elicit more popular reminiscence and sentiment than ice cream vans. This is not only due to their distinctive appearance, but also to the brief blasts of music they played, the ice cream cones they dispensed, and the people who sold them. Yet, despite its status as a twentieth-century cultural icon, the ice cream van has not seriously attracted the gaze of the folklorist. Drawing upon newspapers and social media as primary sources, an inspection of the ice cream van reveals a wealth of legends, memorates, and rumours with deep roots in broader cultural developments
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Early online date14 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2024


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