RFF#33 – Ice cream cones were popularized at the 1904 World’s Fair when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and a waffle vendor helped him out

As the story goes, Ernest Hamuri, a Syrian immigrant, was the waffle vendor who rolled up his waffles for Arnold Fornachou, the teenage ice cream vendor who had run out of paper cups, at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Apparently the “waffle cone” took off immediately and many of the other ice cream and waffle vendors at the fair quickly collaborated to copy their creation.

There’s debate over who actually invented the ice cream cone. While this was probably the first major appearance of the edible, conical shaped waffle cone we all know and love, other edible ice cream containers of various sorts were recorded as early as the 1700s. As a matter of fact, an Italian immigrant by the name of Italo Marchiony held the first patent for an ice cream cone mold, in 1903. However, his “cone” apparently was more like a cup with handles.

This diagram is from Marchiony's 1903 patent application, illustrating his ice cream cup mold

This diagram is from Marchiony’s 1903 patent application, illustrating his ice cream cup mold

One point of clarification, it’s likely that Hamuri wasn’t technically selling “waffles” but rather, “zalabia”, which is a flat, waffle like pastry that is popular in the middle east.

I learned about this fact from: Dr. Bob Brewer; http://www.idfa.org/news–views/media-kits/ice-cream/the-history-of-the-ice-cream-c/ and http://www.google.com/patents?id=kBVUAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

If you’d like to see Marchiony’s original patent application click here