Sennitt's Ice Cream

Sennitt's Ice Cream

Sennitt's Ice CreamNow I'll be the first person to put up my hand up and say I had not heard of Sennitt's Ice Cream but I do remember the polar bear logo.

In December 2012, Stan mentioned a sign of Sennitt's Polar Bear that he remembered in South Melbourne. We did a bit of hunting around and found these references:

I think we need to start with the correct spelling: it was Sennitt (two T's) and the plural was Sennitt's (Sennitt's Ice Works). We did find a number of references to Sennit (one T) including the image above.

John Paul Sennitt (1851-1922)


John Sennitt was born on 12 January 1851 at Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England. John was apprenticed to an engineer and later moved to South Africa where he worked as a refrigeration engineer. Sennitt established refrigerating works at Durban, Natal before moving to Melbourne in 1888.

Sennitt was employed as engineer to the Victorian Cold Accumulator Co. About 1896 he took over the enterprise with Edward Keep; in 1899 Sennitt acquired the firm, in partnership with his eldest son William John Sennitt.

John Sennitt died in April 1922 and his son William remained as managing director. In the early 1930s, when the firm proclaimed itself the 'oldest-established manufacturer in Victoria of Quality Ice Cream', he introduced the popular polar bear trademark.

A huge neon sign on the roof of the South Melbourne factory showed a moving bear vigorously licking an ice-cream cone*.

* We do not have a photo of this sign, so if anyone has one, please send it to us.

William died on 29 January 1940 at Malvern. The ice-cream part of the business was acquired by Unilever in 1961 and merged with Street's. Soon after, the Sennitt brand and its polar bear disappeared.

1961 Sennits Ice Cream acquired by Unilever


The Sennits brand disappeared when the company was merged with Streets. The famous polar bear logo disappeared, but the signs remain sought-after by collectors.

Sarah's Sennitt's polar bear light


Sennitt's icecream logo for display on top of milkbars before company changed to Street's icecream. Stands about 1 metre high and is in good condition considering it probably did some time on top of a milkbar. It is also in good electrical order. Provenance wise, came from my late grandfather who was the manager of Sennitt's icecream and later Street's icecream.

Polar Bear Light


Sennitt's icecream logo for display on top of milkbars before company changed to Street's icecream. Stands about 1 metre high and is in good condition considering it probably did some time on top of a milkbar. It is also in good electrical order. Provenance wise, came from my late grandfather who was the manager of Sennitt's icecream and later Street's icecream.

❊ Web Links ❊


Sennitt's Ice Cream 

Stories found within the major shipping list project: 1852-1923

1961 Sennits Ice Cream acquired by Unilever

Polar Bear Light | abc.net.au

www.adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sennitt-john-paul-13190

Sennitt's Ice Cream Signs


❊ Also See... ❊


Signs Of Melbourne








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