Friday, July 27

Not Necessary, Just Convenient

By Art Cashin

On this day (-3) in 1904, during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri (you remember..."Meet me in St. Louis, Louis!"), the first ice cream cone was made. 

Commercial folklore claims that this occurred when an ice cream stand ran out of cups in which to put their scoops.  According to the same folklore, they asked a vendor in the stand next to them if he had any cups or plates.  His stand sold thin Syrian Sugar Waffles and he suggested putting the ice cream scoops in rolled up waffles - and thus the ice cream cone was said to be born. 

Another source, however, says there was a more romantic beginning. There was an ice cream stand, and in the hot weather sales were good.  But among the things they sold were ice cream sandwiches.  The guy who sold the ice cream was a young fellow named Charles E. Menches.  

He had arranged for his girl to stop by the stand and then they would tour the fair. When she got there, he offered her a  bunch of wild flowers and an ice cream sandwich (ain't love grand).  Despite trying to be cute, she murmured the flower stems were prickly (what do women want) so Chuck took the top off her ice cream sandwich, rolled it onto a cone and slide the ice cream into it.  Then he took the bottom of the sandwich and rolled it into a cone to put the flowers in.  

Bystanders paid little attention to the mobile cookie vase for flowers but were impressed that Amy could now eat the ice cream with one hand and it didn't ooze out on four (4) sides.  Soon they asked for the rolled up sandwich like the young lady had.  

Thus, convenience can also be the mother of invention. 

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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