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Ice Cream Cone History

The Interesting History of Ice Cream Cones You Never Read About

The history of the ice cream cone is marred by controversies, which makes it difficult to determine who actually invented it. However, it is an accepted fact that Ernest Hamwi first used edible cones to serve ice cream.
Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2017
An ice cream cone, also known as 'cornet', is actually a pastry used to serve ice cream, and is prepared from wafers. The texture of the cone is somewhat similar to that of a waffle. Cake cones, waffle cones, sugar cones, and pretzel cones are the different types of ice cream cones. Nowadays, ice cream cones and cupcakes are used as containers for ice cream. However, edible cones were invented only in 1904.
Who Invented the Ice Cream Cone?
Ice cream being one of the most popular edible items the world over, it would be interesting to find out how the ice cream cone was invented. During the World's Fair of 1904, which was organized in the United States, Ernest Hamwi used zalabia, a waffle-like pastry to serve ice cream. Arnold Fornachou, an ice cream vendor, had run out of paper dishes, which prompted Earnest Hamwi to use the zalabia as a substitute for them. He rolled the zalabia into a cone-shaped container to hold ice cream. Edible cones became instantly popular, and people started using them to serve ice cream in the fair itself. Many people tried to take the credit for inventing the cone for using it as an ice cream container.
The ice cream cone was first used at the Saint Louis World's Fair in the United States in 1904. However, there are many controversies which surround its origin or invention. As per researchers, edible ice cream cones were used in England, France, and Germany in the 19th century. However, there is no strong evidence which could support this. Ice cream was an expensive dessert, and thus, it was enjoyed only by the wealthiest in those times. Therefore, the possibility of ice cream eaten with the hands (in cones) appears bleak.
During the early 1900s, ice cream gained popularity among the masses, as it became cheaper. It was thus sold by street vendors. The ice cream at that time was sold in glass containers, known as 'penny licks'. Glass, being a fragile material, would often break. Also, the problem of sanitation prevailed over the usage of these containers. In short, there was a need for some 'handy' container to enjoy the ice cream. The invention of edible cones was a boon for the ice cream industry.
Edible cones were patented by two entrepreneurs separately in the years 1902 and 1903. Antonio Valvona, an ice cream merchant from Manchester, UK, patented a biscuit cup producing machine in 1902. In 1903, Italo Marchiony, an ice cream salesman from New York filed for the patent of a machine which made ice cream containers.
Abe Doumar, a Lebanese immigrant, was the first to build an ice cream cone machine in the United States. Waffle cones were created by Mr. Abe Doumar with the help of this machine.
Mini ice cream cones are popular among children, and used to serve ice cream in small quantities. Cupcakes are used in parties and also at various functions. These cups don't melt, and are a big hit in parties for children.
Ice cream has been an integral part of our diet for many years. However, we generally we don't spare much thought on how the ice cream cone came into existence. The cones used for holding ice cream have been the greatest addition in the history of ice cream, till date.