Slushie, slush or slushy…
however you spell it, they have become very popular at party’s and events across the globe.
But how did the slushie all come about?
The idea for a slushed ice drink started in the late 1950s when Omar Knedlik’s soda machine broke down and he began placing the bottles of soda in the freezer to keep them cold. This caused the sodas to become slush. So Omar started selling the frozen sodas and they became popular with his customers, which gave him the idea to make a machine to help make create a slushy.
To develop his slush machine, Knedlik partnered with the John E Mitchell Company, a manufacturing firm in Dallas, that made automobile and truck air conditioners, and Knedlik later patent his invention in 1960.
The first slushie machine was made from a car air conditioning unit which worked by combining and freezing water, carbon dioxide, and a flavor mix.
Omar Knedlik hired a local artist and friend Ruth E. Taylor to create a marketing name and logo for his invention.
She came up with the name ICEE and the idea of the logo’s icicles hanging from the block letters, which is still used today by the ICEE Company (never heard of the ICEE company? click here to learn more) The “ICEE” word with the snow on it was designed by a John E Mitchell Company staff artist, Lonnie Williams, as part of a cup he designed.
In 1965, the convenience store chain 7-Eleven purchased a licensing agreement with The ICEE Company to sell the the slushie product. The licensing agreement stated that, 7-Eleven must use a different name for the product, and that the company was only allowed to sell the product in it’s 7-Eleven locations across America. This ensured that the two drinks never went head to head for distribution rights.
In 1967, 7-Eleven’s product became known as the “Slurpee” (for the sound made when drinking them).