What would you do for a Klondike Bar? I bet you can’t read that famous slogan without hearing it ring in your mind. The advertising jingle started in 1982, and the ice cream brand is still capitalizing on its prominence across generations — Klondike is hosting a nationwide contest through July 16 asking fans to post videos and photos on Instagram to find the hometown with the most creative answer.
The answer that includes at least four people and best celebrates a sense of community will win a block party for the winner’s area. Wouldn’t it be something if that space was here in Pittsburgh, one of Klondike’s hometowns?
It first began in the early 1900s in Mansfield, Ohio, with William Isaly, the son of Swiss immigrants, and his dairy company. The earliest reference to the Klondike bar was found in a Feb. 5, 1922, article in the Youngstown Vindicator. Around the 1930s, Isaly’s stores started popping up in Pittsburgh.
Back then, you could buy a Klondike for 10 cents each. And some of the early flavors were surprising — standards like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but also cherry, maple, and grape.
The original Youngstown-produced Klondike was packaged on a stick, but Pittsburgh’s were always square. According to Brian Butko’s book, “Isaly’s Chipped Ham, Klondikes, and Other Tales from Behind the Counter,” Henry Isaly (the youngest of William and Louisa Isaly) always said that Klondike is an adult bar, that “He would never put it on a stick.”
Find Butko’s book at the Heinz History Museum Shop.