History of Ice Cream Cone – Who Invented It?

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history of ice cream cone

Now it’s time for the fascinating history of the ice cream cone. It’s probably not an item that you would really place too much thought into. That’s aside from price, flavor, shape and size. In all honesty, most of us would be more concentrated on the special desert being placed inside the receptacle than the cone itself. But let me tell you that the history of ice cream cones is a fascinating one.

The ice cream cones we all know and love today are a far flung distant relative of the original ones. Today we are spoiled for choice. We can choose between the type, be it waffle, wafer (cake) or sugar cones. We can also pick the conical shape. Is it a true cone, or does it have a flat bottom? There’s also the single, double and triple cones. Don’t even get started on the color of them. Our choices are seemingly endless. But the original ones were completely different. Going back in the history of ice cream cone, they couldn’t be eaten.

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The original purpose of ice cream cones were to hold flowers, not ice cream. This is because the original ice cream cones were made out of steel and paper, which were also very useful flower vase. You could really say that ice cream cones, the first ones that is, were modified vases. It was with the invention of ice cream that people started to use these as ice cream cones. Instead of placing the ice cream into an edible cone, it more closely resembled a sundae which we enjoy today.

History of ice cream cones more relevant to our time

As time advanced, as it does, so did the production and refinement of ice cream. Where it was once reserved for the upper echelons of society, more economical production techniques, and a public hungry for the sweet desert, ice cream was beginning to become available for the masses. One problem remained however. Serving it had its limitations. You were still basically restrained to consume the oh so sweet and creamy desert where it was purchased. This was to prove both a problem and catalyst to a solution.

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The edible ice cream cone itself has been around for about two hundred and fifty years. French cooking books gave instructions on how to roll a waffle cone, and the first recorded instructions were printed in 1769. But again, the treat was reserved for the wealthy. 

The history of ice cream cones in the US really took off at the beginning of the 20th century. Towards the end of 1904, a New Yorker received a patent for a mold that made pastry cups that hold ice cream.But he wasn’t the only person experimenting with ice cream and cones at that exact time.

A 16 year old boy can also lay claim to the commercial development of ice cream cones. Just prior to the St. Louis World’s Fair he bought a waffle and rolled in into a cone. He then went to another vendor and placed a scoop of ice cream into his improvised cone. He struck gold it would seem. At the St. Louis World’s Fair he began to sell ice cream in cones, and they proved to be popular. They were so popular that within a few years he and his brothers had sold 23,000 of the cones. Not bad for a 16 year old.

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