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Originally called “Fairy Floss”, the process of making Cotton Candy was invented by four men: Thomas Patton, Josef Delarose Lascaux, John C. Wharton, and William Morrison. In 1899, Morrison and Wharton were able to patent the first electric cotton candy machine, which used centrifugal force to spin and melt sugar through small holes. In 1904, these two Nashville candy makers introduced their invention of how to make cotton candy to the St. Louis World’s Fair. Due to fair goers’ curiosity, these inventors sold approximately 68,655 boxes of cotton candy for 25 cents a box for a total of $17,163.75. Back then and today this is a great deal of money, just think of the profit that you could make today selling such a low cost and enjoyable product!
In 1900, Patton obtained a patent for his invention of making cotton candy. Using a gas-fired rotating plate to spin caramelizing sugar, he was able to form threads of cotton candy with a fork. In addition, he introduced his invention to the public at the Ringley Bros. Circus. Boy was it a hit! Even though he never received a patent, dentist Josef Lascaux introduced this popular candy to his Louisiana dental office.
About 50 years later, in 1949, Gold Medal Products launched a cotton candy machine that had a spring base. Like any other invention, this cotton candy maker was more dependable than the past machines due to the help of new knowledge on how to create a better machine. From here own, cotton candy has been a hit and still is today. Whether you have tried this tasty treat at a local fair, circus, or from a school fund raising event, we hope that the next time you enjoy this delicious candy you will think about the interesting history of such an enjoyable food.