National Ice Cream Cone Day – September 22

National Ice Cream Cone Day

As we enter the first official day of fall, we have a special treat to celebrate! September 22 is the National Ice Cream Cone Day! Imagine life without the ice cream cone? Eat ice cream with only a spoon!? Thank goodness for emergencies that cause necessities, because that is exactly how the ice cream cone was born.

The History of the Ice Cream Cone

There is no cone of shame here! The ice cream cone origins are as controversial as the origins of ice cream. Recipes for waffle and wafer cones started popping up in French cookbooks as early as 1825. However, these cones were used with pastries and cream — but never ice cream.

It was at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO, that Ernest Hamwi changed the ice cream world forever. Hamwi was a Syrian concessionaire who operated a waffle booth located next to an ice cream booth. Suddenly, the ice cream vendor ran out of his paper cups. Hamwi helped out his neighbor in need and rolled a waffle into a conical shape.

And he knew he had a brilliant idea.

The time was right

National Ice Cream Cone Day

An early 20th century ice cream vendor

Timing is everything with a new invention or introduction of a new product. As ice and the ability to freeze food items became more affordable and accessible at the turn of 20th century, ice cream gained in popularity because more than just the wealthy were able to buy ice cream.

And before the invention of the cone were small bowls called penny licks. The ice cream customer bought a small bowl of ice cream from a vendor for a single penny. They would lick their bowl clean and give it back to the vendor, who often reused it without washing it. (EW!!)

Because of the issues around hygiene and cost (many bowls were not returned), the time was ripe, and this cone changed it all!

A golden opportunity

National Ice Cream Cone DayHamwi realized the opportunity he had before him and partnered with J.P. Heckle to start the Cornucopia Waffle Company. Hamwi traveled extensively around the United States proclaiming the news of a new way to eat ice cream — in a cornucopia waffle just like at the World’s Fair!

The idea for this new ice cream confection caught on and began to grow in popularity.

Then in 1910, six years after his accidental invention, Hamwi named the cornucopia waffle the ice cream cone, as he started up his own business.

He wanted a different name to make sure no issues arose with the Cornucopia Waffle Company. Then in 1912, Frederick Buckman of Oregon, got a patent for an ice cream cone making machine, so that each cone no longer had to rolled by hand, allowing for far great production growth.

The ice cream cone quickly caught on because by 1924, more than 245 million ice cream cones were eaten by Americans in that year.

Fun Facts About the Ice Cream Cone

  • National Ice Cream Cone DayIt takes an average of 50 licks to consume an ice cream cone.
  • The world’s largest ice cream cone was scooped in Italy and was over nine feet tall.
  • It takes three gallons of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • There are three main types of ice cream cones: cake cone, sugar cone, waffle cone.
  • On average, individual American’s eat about 20 quarts of ice cream in a year.
  • Despite that, American’s come in second behind New Zealand for ice cream per capita purchased.

Where to Celebrate?

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day is a no-brainer! It is an important day in history. So get out there and celebrate!


Check out other National Food Holidays!