In the 1930s, Illinois fast food entrepreneurs Earl Prince and Walter Fredenhagen found that existing soda fountain machines were not up to the task of mixing their Prince Castle “One in a Million” malted milkshakes. A heavy-duty, centrally-mounted, motor-driven, individual mixing shaft solved the problem, and the Multimixer was born.
Prince and Fredenhagen’s business associate, Ray Kroc, was impressed with the Multimixer and obtained exclusive rights to sell the machine nationwide. One of his customers was a California restaurant owned by Maurice and Richard McDonald, which used eight Multimixers in its assembly line preparing milkshakes, hamburgers, and french fries. Kroc expanded on this pioneering concept, and in 1955 opened the first of the Kroc McDonalds restaurants in Des Plaines, Illinois.