Nancy Johnson was an American woman who invented the hand-cranked ice cream maker in 1843. The invention helped to popularize ice cream by making it easily available.Before Nancy's invention, ice cream was only available to the wealthy or in restaurants because it was almost impossible to make at home without servants. First, one had to chip expensive ice into a large bowl. A smaller bowl, containing the cream was then nestled into the larger bowl. Two servants were required to turn the large bowl, while a third servant scraped the forming ice cream from the sides of the smaller bowl. As you can imagine, the average frontier housewife wasn￢ﾀﾙt going to do all that work after a long day in the fields. In 1843 a practical woman named Nancy Johnson wondered why making ice cream should take so much effort. She attached a crank and handle to the side of a bucket and set a smaller sealed container inside it. Around this container, she packed ice and salt. (The salt helps melt the ice and so lower the freezing temperature.) Turning the crank turned the small container, which became colder and colder as it circled through the ice.