Mrs A.B. Marshall

Agnes Marshall, Queen of Ice Cream

Ice House

Mrs. Agnes Bertha Marshall (1855 - 1905) was a celebrity cook, equivalent to today's television stars of cookery, who demonstrate and write books, and are personality performers. Had there been television in her day, Mrs. Marshall would have without question been a cookery "guru" on the small screen - she was always keen to adopt new technology. Agnes Marshall wrote four books:-
  • The Book of Ices 1885
  • Mrs. A.B. Marshall's Book of Cookery 1888
  • Mrs. A.B. Marshall's Larger Cookery Book of Extra Recipes 1891
  • Fancy Ices 1894
and these are considered to be some of the finest books of their type ever written, especially those on ices, of which Mrs. Marshall was the Queen. Her recipes are clear, accurate, and well illustrated. Mrs. Marshall has been neglected by historians, and is not famous today, unlike Mrs. Beeton, whose work benefited from commercial promotion long after her death. In contrast Mrs. Marshall's family did not make a long term success of her business which included a cookery school, sales of equipment, and invention of machines

Marshall's Patent Freezer

Mrs Marshall's patent ice cream freezer

Engraving of Mrs A.B. Marshall

vertical section view of Mrs Marshall's freezer

Vertical section
She ran a domestic staff agency business, sold domestic and cooking equipment, and ran a successful school of cookery. She campaigned for better standards of food hygiene. In 1886 she started a magazine called "The Table". Agnes toured extensively, lecturing and demonstrating her techniques to huge audiences. Mrs. Marshall can be credited with the invention of the ice cream edible cone, mentioned in her 1888 cookery book, the recipe being "cornets with cream". This predates American claims to the invention in 1904! There are no known earlier references to the edible ice cream cone which nowadays we all take for granted.Her books stimulated demand for imported Norwegian ice which was supplied from the building which is now the London Canal Museum. An exhibition at Syon House (1998) and at London Canal Museum (1999) told the story of her amazing life, which, sadly, ended at the age of only 49.