Daniel T. Swenson Collection on the Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company, 1954-1974  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Swenson, Daniel T.
Daniel T. Swenson Collection on the Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company
1954-1974 (inclusive)
2 boxes plus one reel of film, (.63 cubic feet)
Collection Number
2009.33 (accession)
Marketing materials, soft serve ice cream equipment service manuals, photographs, product descriptions and business records documenting the history of the Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Inventor and Seattle businessman Harvey F. “Sandy” Swenson was born in 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended college for a short time in Nebraska, but was primarily self-educated. He came to Seattle to manage a floor-polishing firm, where he modified a polisher motor to run a soft ice cream machine. He founded Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company in 1932, eventually expanding the business to include plants in England, Canada, Japan and Holland. Harvey Swenson is credited with inventing the milk shake machine.

In 1948, the University of Washington granted Harvey Swenson a license to practice electrical engineering in the state of Washington. In 1962, Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company attracted the attention of Dr. Belding Scribner of the University of Washington, who was developing the first home kidney dialysis machine. The University needed to partner with a private manufacturing company to produce the new dialysis machines. The components had to be high quality, sanitary, metal, and equipped with electronics, very similar to the soft ice cream machines made by Sweden Freezer Company. Harvey Swenson worked closely with Dr. Scribner to form a new division called Seattle Artificial Kidney Supply Company. In 1962, the first outpatient dialysis treatment center opened in Seattle, now known as Northwest Kidney Centers. Sweden Freezer Company manufactured several hundred dialysis machines a year during the 1960s.

In 1976, Sweden Freezer Company sold its medical division and Harvey Swenson entered real estate management. He found creative uses for the miles of surgical tubing left over from making dialysis machines. He wove it into lattice railings for his deck, spliced it into a drip irrigation system and inflated it to float crab pots near his Whidbey Island home. Ironically, late in life he was diagnosed with a medical condition that caused his kidneys to fail, and he needed dialysis treatments in Seattle. Harvey Swenson died on September 15, 1996 at age 86. After his death, his son Daniel Swenson continued to manage the real estate firm started by his father.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes detailed service manuals for specific models of soft ice cream and milk shake dispensing equipment. Marketing and advertising records include product catalogs, sales kits, statistics and detailed profit and loss calculations for soft ice cream and frozen carbonated drink machines. The 16 mm promotional film, “Ice Cream: Past, Present and Future” was produced by Sweden Freezer Company. Photographs include images of Sweden soft ice cream and milk shake machines installed in school cafeterias, cafes and restaurants.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Daniel T. Swenson Collection on the Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Operation and service manuals, circa 1960Return to Top

All manuals include drawings and specifications.

Container(s) Description Dates
2009.33.1 : Models 1-270 and 1-282 Softservers and Model 1-273 Shakemaker
41 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.2 : Models 1-292, 1-294, 1-292A3, 1-294A3 Pressurized Softservers
51 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.3 : Models 1-342, 1-360, 1-362, 1-344, 1-343, 1-363, 1-346, 1-347 Softservers Shakemaker
44 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.4 : Counter Model 1-500A3
33 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.5 : Models 1-506A3 and 1-506D3 Softservers
30 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.6 : Models 1-512A3 and 1-522A3 Softserver
30 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.7 : Counter Model 1-550
33 pages
circa 1960
2009.33.8 : Service Bulletin File
circa 1960

Newsletters, 1962-1969Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
2009.33.9: Dispensing Freezers, Dairy and Non-Dairy Products Frozen Carbonated Beverages, James A. Goodman, Service Manager, Sweden Manufacturing Co.
37 pages
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, Des Plaines, Illinois
2009.33.10: Servicing Ice Cream and Milkshake Dispensing Freezers, James A. Goodman, Service Manager, Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Co.
69 pages
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, Des Plaines, Illinois
2009.33.11: The Sweden Freezer News, Vol. 6, No. 4
8 pages
Includes a feature article on the development of the Seattle Artificial Kidney Supply Division.
1962 September

Marketing materialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
2009.33.12 : Let Sweden Put You in the Frozen Carbonated Drink Business with the Model 10-4A3
Sales and marketing flyer
circa 1970
2009.33.13 : Frozen Carbonated Drink Dispensers
Sales and marketing flyer
circa 1970
2009.33.14 : Frozen Carbonated Drink Dispensers
Sales and marketing flyer
circa 1970
2009.33.15 : Boost Your Sales with a Sweden FCB Merchandiser
Sales and marketing flyer
circa 1970
2009.33.16 : The Sweden Freezer "Demonstration for Profit" Sales Program
Sales bulletins, photographs and ephemera
circa 1960
2009.33.17 : Sweden Freezer Catalog, Softserve Equipment of Advanced Design
Products and specifications
2009.33.18 : Sweden Freezer Frozen Carbonated Beverage Sales Program
Sales bulletins, includes specifications and estimated profit and loss schedules
circa 1970
2009.33.19 :   Binder: Profits by Sweden
Detailed cost and profit comparisons for soft and hard ice cream, sales manual, specifications, 2 photographs of Sweden softserve machines behind restaurant counter
circa 1970
2009.33.20 :   Binder: The Elementary and Secondary School Market
Marketing study, includes 9 photographs of school cafeteria services and students waiting in line for ice cream products
circa 1960
2009.33.24: Film: "Ice Cream: Past Present and Future"
Promotional 16 mm film produced by Sweden Freezer Company.
circa 1962

Business recordsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
2009.33.21: Sweden Freezer Company, stock certificate book
circa 1954
2009.33.22: Corporate minute book of McLaren & Swenson, Ltd., formerly Sweden Freezer of Canada , Ltd.
2009.33.23: Correspondence
circa 1974

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Business enterprises--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Freezers
  • Ice cream &ices
  • Personal Names :
  • Swenson, Harvey, 1910-1996
  • Corporate Names :
  • Sweden Freezer Manufacturing Company
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints
  • Short films