National Ice Cream Cone Day
annually on September 22nd
National Ice Cream Cone Day celebrates ice cream cones, and takes place on the anniversary of one of the first patents for an edible ice cream container. There was a long and meandering road to the invention of the ice cream cone. A variation of ice cream cones were mentioned in a French cookbook in 1825. Cones used exclusively for ice cream may have been invented by Italian immigrants living in England in the mid-1800's. Ice cream cones were reported as being eaten in Germany in the late 1800's, and were also mentioned in cookbooks in England around the same time. Still, during the 1890's, ice cream was mainly eaten in dishes, known as "licking glasses" or "penny licks". Ice cream vendors had a hard time keeping the dishes clean, as well as keeping them from being stolen.
In 1902, Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England, patented a biscuit cup to hold ice cream. Although Valvona's patent predates one by Italo Marchiony by about a year, it is Marchiony's invention that many see as the official birth of the ice cream cone. Marchiony was a New York City ice cream seller who had immigrated from Italy, and he applied for his patent on September 22, 1903, the day that would become National Ice Cream Cone Day. He claimed to have been making cones to hold ice cream since 1896. The following year, during the St. Louis World's Fair—also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition—about fifty booths sold ice cream. Various people either sold variations of, or claimed to have invented ice cream cones there. In all likelihood, this is where ice cream cones were popularized, but they had been invented prior to this.
The main types of ice cream cones today are the cake or wafer cone—which has a flat bottom which allows it to stand up like a cup— the waffle cone, and the sugar cone—which is cookielike. Pretzel, chocolate coated, and double wafer cones also exist. Drumsticks, which come with ice cream and cone together, were invented in 1931, and were purchased by Nestlé in 1991.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating an ice cream cone. Maybe you live by one of the best ice cream spots in the United States, and can go out to get one. Otherwise you could just eat one at home. But, if you are still feeling pretty adventurous, you could make your own cones.