History of Ice Cream Cones
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TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved.
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There is much controversy over who invented the first ice cream cone. From my research, I feel that the first cones were not invented in the United States. Both paper and metal cones were used in France, England, and Germany before the 19th century. Travelers to Düsseldorf, Germany reported eating ice cream out of edible cones in the late 1800s.
Before the invention of the cone, ice cream was either licked out of a small glass (a penny lick, penny cone, penny sucker, or licking glasses) or taken away wrapped in paper which was called a "hokey pokey." The customer would lick the ice cream off the dish and return the dish to the vender, who washed it and filled it for the next customer. As you can guess, sanitation was a problem. An even bigger problem was that the ice cream vender couldn't wash the dishes fast enough to keep up with demand on a hot day.
Ice cream in a cup also became known as a "toot," which many have been derived from the
Italian word "tutti" or
as customers were urged to "Eat it all." They were also known as
"wafers," "oublies," "plaisirs," "gaufres," "cialde,"
"cornets," and "cornucopias."
1700s - During the 1770s, ice cream was referred to as "iced puddings" or "ice cream puddings." The cones used were referred to as wafers. During this period, wafers were considered as "stomach settlers" and were served at the end to the meal to calm digestion. They eventually became luxurious treats and were an important element of the dessert course. When rolled into "funnels" or "cornucopias," they could be filled with all sort of fruit pastes, creams, and iced puddings.
Cafe Frascati was originally opened in 1789. It was a restaurant and gambling house that was also famous for serving ice cream suppers. The restaurant had a reputation that any lady could be seen dining there without any scandal or stain on her character. Cake Frascati was closed down after a law against gambling appear in 1847. Robert J. Weir and his wife Caroline Liddell, noted historians on the history of ice cream and the ice cream cone, were able to purchase the 1807 colored engraving, titled Frascati, in 2003.
An article by Jeri Quinzio, The Ice Cream Cone Conundrum in the Radcliffe Culinary Times states:
1850s - The first true ice cream cone, used exclusively for ice cream only, appears to have been the invention of the Italian immigrants living in the Manchester, England area during the inter-war period in the middle 1800s. The food trade, and in particular ice cream, provided a living for many Italian families. These immigrants were grossly exploited labor, often lodged in poor conditions and paid little. They progressed from pushing barrows to acquiring horse-drawn vans to sell their ices.
The term "Hokey Pokey" presumably evolved from the Italian cry that the Italian vendors hawked their cheap ice cream, although what this originally was is not known. There have been several suggestions: a corruption of "Ecce, Ecce" (Look, Look); a derivation of "Hocus Pocus;" a corruption of "Ecco un poco" (Italian for Here’s a little), the Italian "Oche poco" (Oh how little) - the last one being a reference to price, rather than the quantity, which gives it the most plausibility. At the end of the 1800's there were around 900 Hokey Pokey men in London's Little Italy. By 1884, people were calling the cheap ice cream and the street vendors "Hokey Pokey" men. Italian immigrants had spread throughout Europe and the Unites States vending their ices and ice creams. The term "Hokey Pokey" was also used in the United States.
Carlo Gatti (1817-1878), came to London from the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, may well have been the first person to sell ice cream. He came to London in 1847 and sold refreshments from a stall. He sold pastries and ices in little shells. "The Penny Ice," also know as "halfpenny ices," caught on rapidly and Gatti was at the forefront of selling ice cream to the ordinary man or woman, who had previously been unable to afford a taste of such luxury. He was so successful that he and others encouraged many more Italians to immigrate to London to help sell.
For his ice cream business, he had to import ice in huge quantities from Norway. Gatti built huge ice house pits near Kings Cross in the 1850’s, where he stored the ice he shipped to England from Norway by sailing ship and then canal barge. He built two underground ice wells to store the ice. Each well was a huge cylinder about 10 metres in diameter and 13 metres deep and could hold up to 750 tons of ice.
"Halfpenny Ices" from the 1877 book called Victorian London by J. Thompson and Adolphe Smith:
English writer and journalist, Henry Mayhew (1812–1887), was asked by the London newspaper, Morning Chronicle, to be the metropolitan correspondent for its series "Labour and the Poor" in 1849. He began writing and editing a vast survey of the working class and poor of the city of London. He published his works first in 82 serial installments in the form of letters to the Chronicle, and in 1851 in volume form as London Labour and the London Poor. His interviews with workers and with street folk convey a vivid sense of the lives of London's poor. His method of quoting his interviewees at length and apparently in their own words produced an evocative survey of the London underclasses and one of the first pieces of documentary journalism. He interviewed street sellers of ices and ice cream. Some of the comments are below:
Roland Antonelli of Manchester, England gave me the following facts on his family’s history making and selling ice cream cones and wafers in the early 1900s:
Now the question is - Who invented the first commercial ice cream cone?
Up until recently, historians seem to think that Italo Marchiony's patent in 1903 was the inventor (see 1903 - Italo Marchiony below).
Recently Steve Church of Ridgecrest, California discovered a long forgotten patent for an Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream by Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England. This patent, by Antonoio Valvona, clearly shows that the ice cream cone had been around prior to Italo Marchiony's patent.
Antonio Valvona (A.Valvona & Co. Ltd) was firstly an ice cream manufacturer and in 1901 was listed at Glasshouse Street, Ancoats Manchester. In 1907, he moved his biscuit operation to The Bridgewater Mill, Rodney Street, Ancoats. In 1919, the families Colaluca and Rocca opened a factory in Mill Street, Ancoats later trading as the Colroc Biscuit Co. Ltd. Colroc closed in the late 1950's, and Valvona having sold to new owners moved to Oldham north Manchester but closed in the late 1970's.
Marchiony always insisted that he had been making cones since 1896 where he sold his homemade ice cream (lemon ice) from a pushcart (hokey-pokey) on Wall Street in New York. He originally used liquor glasses to serve his ice cream in. To reduce his overhead, caused by customers breaking or wandering off with his serving glasses, he baked edible waffle. While the waffles were still warm, he folded them into the shape of a cup (with sloping sides and a flat bottom). His waffle cups made him the most popular vendor on Wall Street and soon afterward, he had a chain of 45 carts operated by men he hired.
When cones became
popular after the 1904 St. Louis Fair, Marchiony tried to protect his
patent through legal channels but failed. Since Marchiony's patent was
for only the specific mold construction and there were lots of other
ways to mold cones, his patent was not much good. Marchiony's ice cream
and wafer company thrived at in Hoboken, New Jersey until his plant was
destroyed by fire in 1934. He retired from his business in 1938. It
wasn't until Marchhiony's obituary was printed in the New York Times on
October 29, 1954, that this story was made public.
Ice Cream Cone Rolling Machine Patents:
1912 - According to some historians, cones were rolled by hand until 1912, when Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for doing the rolling. In 1928, Nabisco bought out Bruckman's company and rights. Presently, I can find no patent record for this.
1923 - The first patent for an Ice Cream Cone Rolling Machine is dated back to January 2, 1923 (U.S. patent No. 1,440,851) and its inventor is the Armenian Harry G. Tatosian of Bridgeport Connecticut who filed the application on February 11, 1921. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/1440851.pdf
1924 - U.S. patent No.
1,481,813 for a Cone
Rolling Machine was issued to its inventor, Carl R. Taylor of Cleveland,
Ohio on January 29, 1924. He described it as a "machine for forming thin, freshly baked wafers while still hot into
cone shaped containers" for ice-cream. Multiple dies were
designed on a turntable, such that when formed, the cone had time to
cool and harden before rotating into position for release. The whole
machine was to be set up beside a batter baking machine which provides
the supply of the hot, flat wafers.
In 1904, St. Louis, Missouri recognized the importance of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to the history of the United States by inviting the country and the world to participate in the "greatest of expositions," the St. Louis World's Fair (also known as the St. Louis' Exposition and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition). The celebration also honored explorers Lewis and Clark and their epic journey into the unknown American west in 1804, which both began and ended in St. Louis.
During the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, there were approximately 50 ice cream stands at the Fair and a large number of waffle shops. It is generally accepted that the 1904 Fair was the place where the ice cream cone became popular and where the great ice cream cone controversy began:
After the fair, Hamwi sold his waffle oven to J. P. Heckle and helped him develop and open the Cornucopia Waffle Company. Hamwi traveled for the company introducing the cornucopia. According to his account, they served approximately 5,000 free ice cream cones at the Augusta, Georgia, Fair to introduce the product to the public. In 1910, Hamwi opened the Missouri Cone Company.
Hamwi was interviewed by The Ice Cream Trade Journal in the May 1928 issue, and he was quoted as saying that he was located next to an ice cream booth at the 1904 exhibition. Ice cream concessionaires all over the fair grounds began to purchase his waffles, calling them cornucopias. Hamwi was so intrigued with the idea and the World's Fair Cornucopia was born. Hamwi's story and claim is based on this interview
His nephew, Albert, later wrote a family history called The Saga of the Ice Cream Cone. Albert Doumar provided papers, photos and parts of the original cone machine for the Smithsonian Institution, and they have noted that though many claim credit, there is no doubt the machine is the real deal. Doumar keeps a red album of family/business photos and clippings. In the front is a worn paper signed by Peggy Cass, Gary Moore, Alan Alda, and Kitty Carlisle, panelists on a popular TV show from 1972. The paper is the text that Doumar read on the air when he was a guest on the show, on Sept. 26 of that year. It reads in part:
At the close of the 1904 St. Louis Fair, the popularity of this of
eating ice cream in a "cone" had industries racing to produce molds and
machines to be used for baking ice cream cones. Demand for cones quickly
outstripped the hand-rolled waffle makers.
SOURCES: Ancoats My Inheritance, Italian Heritage Association. Case 4: The Baker and Confectioner's Art, Exhibition curator: Katie Sambrook, ISS:
Information Services and Systems, University of London.
Ancoats My Inheritance, Italian Heritage Association.
Case 4: The Baker and Confectioner's Art, Exhibition curator: Katie Sambrook, ISS: Information Services and Systems, University of London.
Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla: A History of American Ice Cream, by Ann Cooper Funderburg, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1995.
Industries, Ice Cream & Barrrel Organs and The Ice Cream Families, Memories of the Italian Colony of Ancoats and The Ice Cream Families, by Anthony RLA
Enduring Popularity, Italo Marchiony (1868-1954), Hoboken, New Jersery Inventors Hall of Fame, Special Citations.
Harvest of the Cold Months - The Social Hisotry of Ice and Ices, by Elizabeth David, Viking - The Penguin Group, 1995.
Ice Cream Cone Conundram, by Jeri Quinzio, Radcliffe Culinary Times, Vol. X, No. 1, Spring 2000, Radcliffe Culinary Friends of the Schesinger Library, the Rradcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
Ice Cream History and Folklore, University of Guelph, Dairy Science & Technology.
History of the Menches Brothers, Menches Bros. 1885.
Ices, Plain and Fancy,The Book of Ices, by A. B. Marshall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976 reprint of 1885 edition.
Carlo Gatti, London Canal Museum.
Mrs. A.B. Marshall, London Canal Museum.
Steve Church, Ridgecrest, California.
The Great American Ice Cream Book, by Paul Dickson, published by Galahad Books, 1972.
The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, by William Harlan hale and the Editors of Horizon Magazine, American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968. - pgs 252 TO 255.
The Ice Screamer, Issue #103, August 2004.
<The Mysterious Origins of the Ice Cream Cone by Joe Tobias American Dairy Science Association Historian.
The Ocean View Nickle Tour - Part VII, by Albert Doumar.
Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - London Labour and the London Poor; 1851, 1861-2; Henry Mayhew, The Victorian Dictionary, compiled by Lee Jackson.
Wafer Making, by Ivan Day, Historic Food
Zalabia and the First Ice-Cream Cone, by Jack Marlowe, Saudia Aranco World.
What's Cooking America© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. -