Side A: Harry B. Burt (1874-1926) came to Youngstown in 1893 and began making and selling penny candy. He expanded his business with high quality candies, chocolates, and ice cream. Around 1920 Burt invented a process for freezing a stick in an ice cream bar and coating it in chocolate so one could eat it without touching it. He called his new confection “Good Humor Ice Cream Suckers.” Burt purchased the building at 325 West Federal Street in 1921, remodeled it, and opened it on April 4, 1922 to make his products and serve his customers. Here he first mass produced ice cream bars and sold them in area neighborhoods from a fleet of freezer trucks with bells and uniformed drivers. After Burt’s death, investors purchased the brand, formed the Good Humor Corporation of America in Chicago, and it grew into a national phenomenon.
Side B: James Ross (1892-1974) and Dr. Edith Levin Ross (1898-1991) emigrated from Russia in 1925, and settled in Youngstown in 1930. That year James founded Ross Radio Company, a distributor of radios, televisions, and related components. Ross Radio moved to 325 West Federal Street in 1935, and operated here until 2008. James and Edith Ross were active leaders and philanthropists in the Mahoning Valley and for international Jewish causes. In 1947, amid rising tensions in the Holy Land before the declaration of the state of Israel, when the British Army confiscated guns from Jewish settlements leaving them defenseless, Ross Radio was a depot for weapons collected from World War II veterans by local members of the Young Zionists of America. These guns and ammunition were packed in crates marked “radio parts” and shipped to New York, where they were cleaned, matched, re-crated, and smuggled into the Holy Land.
Sponsors: Mahoning Valley Historical Society, The James and Edith Ross Foundation, and The Ohio Historical Society