A perfect time of year to talk about ice cream scoops
The first ice cream scoop (originally called an ice cream dipper) was patented in the 1870s as ice cream gained popularity. It was invented by William Clewell and required two hands to operate, one on the handle and the other to turn the key to release the ice cream. In 1897, Alfred Cralle revolutionized the ice cream scoop by patenting and inventing the one-handed ice cream scoop, calling it the “Ice Cream Mold and Disher.”
Soon thereafter in the early 1900s, Raymond Gilchrist patented his version of the ice cream scoop. It incorporated a wooden handle and nickel-plated brass thumb key that operated a wiper. This wiper would effectively sweep the ice cream from the bowl of the scoop.
Your ice cream scoop is a Gilchrist. It is stamped on the thumb key "Gilchrist’s No. 31." This model is credited to be one of the most popular and successful scoops in history. It came in nine sizes, numbered in accordance to how many scoops were needed to fill a quart. Yours is one of the smaller sizes, as noted with an additional "24" stamp — meaning 24 scoops would fill a quart.
The ice cream scoop is a favorite nostalgic and utilitarian invention. Your Gilchrist model is not very rare since so many were made due to its tremendous success. As it does not retain its original box and has some wear, I would value it at $45.