The Scoop on the Ice Cream Cone

By |2014-08-04T06:00:21-05:00August 4th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|4 Comments

Last month was National Ice Cream Month. Did you know?

I didn’t either until I read Kovel’s Newsletter about ice cream-related memorabilia. Though I’m not in the antiques business full time anymore I often assist friends and neighbors with estate liquidatons so I read Kovel’s to keep up with trends and prices.

One of the articles gave the origins of the waffle cone.

Italo Marchiony, an 1896 New York City ice cream pushcart vendor, wanted to stop customers from walking away with his serving dishes and invented the edible cone. He patented the special mold for waffle cups with sloping sides in 1903.

A different account claims a 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair ice cream vendor ran out of paper dishes and made a deal with a neighboring vendor of “zalabia,” a waffle-like pastry. The combine effort of rolling up the waffles to hold ice cream was a big hit with fair goers.

Entrepreneur W.W. Turnbull saw fairgoers enjoying ice cream out of the rolled waffles. Three years later, he invented an ice cream cone vending machine. His Turnbull Cone & Machine Company of Cincinnati, which relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1918, became one of the country’s largest ice cream cone producers.

Turnbull Cone’s motto: “Eat a cone every day. You’ll feel better in every way.” I would agree!



This is a “Turnbull’s Crisp Clean Cones” soda fountain ice cream cone dispenser from about 1920.

A light bulb on the inside keeps cones warm and crispy. Push the levers on the outside to release the bottom cone down the chute.

The vintage machine sold for $960 at an auction in Iowa.

The idea of edible cones exploded in popularity after the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and somewhere along the way ice cream businesses like Dairy Queen entered the picture for ice cream lovers.

DQ stop signFor those of you living where there are no DQs, Texans call the distinctive sign the Texas stop sign.

I promise my vehicle certainly stops far too often. But only to confirm Mr. Turnbull’s motto, of course.