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Omar Knedlik

Inventor. Born: 1915, Barnes, Kansas. Died: 1989

Omar Knedlik was born in Barnes in 1916. He grew up poor and served during World War II. Coming home with his military pay he purchased his first ice cream shop. He pursued several business ventures before purchasing a Dairy Queen franchise in the late 1950s. Knedlik did not have a soda fountain, so instead he would take bottles of soda and freeze them. Semi-frozen bottles of soda were served to customers who enjoyed the treat even more  than a regular fountain soda. Knedlik began experimenting with an old ice cream machine in an attempt to create the frozen treat quickly. Five years later he had his first ICEE machine. He teamed up with a Dallas company and the machines were mass produced and sold across the country. Knedlik died at 73 in 1989.

Entry: Knedlik, Omar

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: February 2019

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.