What you think you know may not be so! Amaze your friends with these fun facts.

Random Did You Know Facts


Jan 18, 2009

Ice Cream Cones

Did You Know...
The first (patented)Ice Cream Cone wasn't in the shape of a cone it was in the shape of a cup.
Truth is it was and still is a waffle that was used to hold the ice cream to keep people from breaking or walking off with the liquor glasses that were being used as serving dishes. These thin waffles were also known as "wafers," "oublies," "plaisirs," "gaufres," "cialde," "cornets," and "cornucopias."

No one really knows who invented these cones but they have been in use since the 1700's or even earlier. Until recently, historians seem to think that Italo Marchiony who got a patent in 1903, was the inventor. But just recently Steve Church of Ridgecrest, California discovered a long forgotten patent for an Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream by Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England. This patent, by Antonoio Valvona, clearly shows that the ice cream cone had been around prior to Italo Marchiony's patent.

Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England received Patent No. 701,776 on June 3, 1902 for an "Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream."
The biscuits he baked were really edible waffles. While the waffles were still warm, he folded them into the shape of a cup (with sloping sides and a flat bottom). His waffle cups made him the most popular vendor on Wall Street and soon afterward, he had a chain of 45 carts operated by men he hired.

When cones became popular after the 1904 St. Louis Fair, Marchiony tried to protect his patent through legal channels but failed. Since Marchiony's patent was for only the specific mold construction and there were lots of other ways to mold cones, his patent was not much good. Marchiony's ice cream and wafer company thrived in Hoboken, New Jersey until his plant was destroyed by fire in 1934. He retired from his business in 1938.

In 1912, According to some historians, cones were rolled by hand until 1912, when Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for doing the rolling. In 1928, Nabisco bought out Bruckman's company and rights.

In the 1850s The first true ice cream cone, used exclusively for ice cream only, appears to have been the invention of Carlo Gatti, the Italian immigrants living in the Manchester, England area during the inter-war period in the middle 1800s. The food trade, and in particular ice cream, provided a living for many Italian families. These immigrants were grossly exploited labor, often lodged in poor conditions and paid little. They progressed from pushing barrows to acquiring horse-drawn vans to sell their ices.

Carlo Gatti (1817-1878), came to London from the Italian speaking part of Switzerland,and may well have been the first person to sell ice cream. He came to London in 1847 and sold refreshments from a stall. He sold pastries and ices in little shells. "The Penny Ice," also know as "halfpenny ices," caught on rapidly and Gatti was at the forefront of selling ice cream to the ordinary man or woman, who had previously been unable to afford a taste of such luxury. He was so successful that he and others encouraged many more Italians to immigrate to London to help sell.

During the 1770s, ice cream was referred to as "iced puddings" or "ice cream puddings." The cones used were referred to as wafers. During this period, wafers were considered as "stomach settlers" and were served at the end to the meal to calm digestion. They eventually became luxurious treats and were an important element of the dessert course. When rolled into "funnels" or "cornucopias," they could be filled with all sort of fruit pastes, creams, and iced puddings.
So the true inventor of the ice cream cone may never be known but we have a general idea of why they are used.

Today these wafers or cones come in different flavors, colors, shapes and sizes.

Now I guess you are wondering how was Ice Cream found or invented....
That will be our next Did You Know article, so visit again to find out.

Jan 7, 2009

Birds That Can't Fly?

Did you know...
There are many birds that can't fly. Does that make you wonder why they are called birds? When you think of a bird do you not think of one that can soar high above the trees? Is it a bird just because it has feathers? I guess our scientist think so but did you know why these birds can't fly?

It is believed by some that most flightless birds evolved in the absence of predators, on deserted islands, and lost the power of flight because they had few enemies — although this is likely not the case for the ratites; the ostrich, emu and cassowary, as these all have claws on their feet which can be use as weapons against predators.

The 2 key differences between flying and flightless birds are the smaller wing bones of flightless birds and the absent (or greatly reduced) keel* on their breastbone. The keel anchors muscles needed for wing movement. Flightless birds also have more feathers than flying birds. This and perhaps their weight has something to do with them being flightless. There have been over 40 recorded birds that can not fly. Some are extinct now. The last known ones that still live and most people know are the many varieties of the Penguins, Emu and the Ostrich. The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island Rail (length 12.5 cm, weight 34.7 g). The largest (both heaviest and tallest) flightless bird, which is also the largest living bird, is the Ostrich (2.7 m, 156 kg) (although some extinct species did grow to a larger sizes). Ostriches were once farmed for their decorative feathers. Today they are raised for meat and for their skins, which are used to make leather. The Emu is also being used for a source of food as well as their oils in a topical applied pain reliever.

*A keel in bird anatomy is an extension of the sternum which runs axially along the mid-line of the sternum and extends outward, perpendicular to the plane of the ribs. The keel provides an anchor to which a bird's wing muscles attach, thereby providing adequate leverage for flight. Keels do not exist on all birds; in particular, some flightless birds lack a keel structure.