There are many American delicacies said to have been invented at St. Louis' 1904 World's Fair, however only the ice cream cone has been confirmed to have a connection to it. Read ahead for the detailed origin story if I’ve cream cones as we know them now.
The ice cream cone's origins have been traced back to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, however, according to some sources, it was mostly due to the innovation and entrepreneurship of Italian immigrants rather than a spontaneous invention at the fairgrounds.
Prior to the creation of the ice cream cone, people had to make do with various cone-like containers when they wanted to have ice cream. The containers were not completely terrible but that was until problems like breakage and sanitation issues sprung up among the street vendors.
The idea of putting ice cream into edible cones evolved as a solution to this set of problems. The cones would not leave behind any sort of waste, and even though it is fragile enough to be consumed, it is durable enough to hold an ice cream without making a mess.
Its invention was spearheaded by several people, including Antonio Valvona and Italo Marchiony. These two men triggered the widespread popularity of ice cream cones when they patented their respective devices for molding biscuit paste into cone shapes at the St. Louis World's Fair.
Marchiony's cousin, Italo Marchiony, later filed his own patent for molding apparatus used in the manufacture of ice cream cups. The filing came after he created his own ice cream firm to rival his cousin’s in 1903.
Italo's innovation was that his design made it possible to mold biscuit paste "in particular and unusual shapes" that were not possible before due to "the delicacy of the substance molded and the difficulty of forming and extracting the same from the molds."
The illustrations from Italo’s patent application showed the kind of unusual shapes he was trying to mold: tiny flat-bottomed teacups made of biscuit dough, complete with delicate handles.
And that's where things were on the eve of the St. Louis World's Fair. People ate ice cream from edible containers, but it was nothing that anyone in today’s world would consider an ice cream cone.