1958 Ford Mister Softee truck
Brothers William and James Conway of Philadelphia founded Mister Softee, Inc. in 1956.
Two years later, Mister Softee outgrew the Philadelphia plant, and operations were moved to Runnemede, New Jersey. It was then that Mister Softee ordered the fleet of trucks that would make them so well-known throughout the Northeast. Over the next few years, the Boyertown Auto Body Works would build several thousand of these ice cream trucks, which used a repurposed Merchandiser body design. The Boyertown Auto Body Works also built ice cream trucks for Howard Johnson’s, Jolly Roger and other vendors, but the Mister Softee trucks were their most profitable and visible customer.
This truck was donated to the Museum by its original and only owner, Mr. Henry Gaffey of Herkimer, New York. Henry operated this truck for 21 years, finally retiring it to his garage in 1980. In the 1990s, he used it as a parade vehicle, bringing back many memories to the Mohawk Valley community.