Posted on Leave a comment

Keeping Cool: The History of the Sno-Cone

With the arrival of a cold and snowy winter in much of the United States (but not here in Florida!), it’s nice to be reminded of summer times when snow and ice would have been welcomed as a cool reprieve from the scorching heat. In fact, this is precisely how the sno-cone came into existence. The tasty treat now widely enjoyed through all four seasons was created over time based on a unique set of circumstances and very practical purposes.

Before modern refrigeration, ice needed to be transported to warmer climates by wagon, in huge blocks to prevent them from melting. Stories out of Baltimore, MD from the mid-19th century describe children greeting the wagons on their way south, begging the driver to shave off a little ice to melt in their mouth and help them cool down. Eventually, mothers of the children began to make flavoring to prepare for the arrival of the ice. Before long, ice was being hand shaved at movie theaters so that patrons could enjoy flavored “snowballs” during the hottest summer months.

Snowballs spread gradually around the country, serving as an inexpensive, enjoyable treat during the Great Depression and an appropriate replacement for all the ice cream that was shipped to soldiers during World War II.

Meanwhile, the technology used to make what would come to be known as sno-cones was making big strides. In 1919, a man named Samuel Bert created a machine used to make sno-cones that he sold at the Texas State Fair. While Bert’s machine made sno-cones by crushing ice, a New Orleans man named Ernest Hansen introduced the block-style shaving machine in 1934. The new machine created ice shaving more in line with the actual consistency of snow, and made the icy cold treats a source of pride in the Big Easy.

Ever since, sno-cones have exploded into one of the most popular summer treats in the country. They’ve also inspired the creation of modern iterations like frozen coffee and adult beverages. The next time you cool down with a sno-cone, take a moment to think about just how far they’ve come.

To rent or purchase sno-cone machines and other fun concession and snack bar equipment for your business or event in Florida, contact Miracle Strip Popcorn and Concession Supply today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.