The Origin of the Marshmallow Machine

2021/05/17

The Origin of the Marshmallow Machine

As a child, the marshmallow was a source of sweetness and joy.


The process of making them was also magical - the vendors would add a spoonful or two of sugar to the marshmallow machine, and in no time at all, strands of "cotton wool" "fly" out of the device and are gently wrapped around a small wooden stick. The light and tempting marshmallows are ready!


When you taste it on your tongue, your eyes narrow, and your mouth turns into the shape of a small moon.


Parents often worry that too many marshmallows are bad for their teeth, but they would never have guessed that a dentist invented the marshmallow machine.


"Marshmallow Machine"


The Dentist Who Loved To Invent


William James Morrison was born in 1860 and became a dentist in 1890 after graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. Morrison worked on several inventions, both large and small, and patented some of the more important ones, including the marshmallow machine, which is the subject of this article.


The Marshmallow Machine was the product of Morrison's interest. Although he was a dentist, he was obsessed with sweets, and he had an old friend who shared his sweet tooth, the candy maker John C. Wharton, and the two of them came up with many whimsical ideas in the course of their sweet tooth.


Origin Of Fairy Silk


Together they turned an exciting idea into reality in 1897, and the world's first automatic marshmallow machine was born.


The electric machine they designed and built was very similar to the marshmallow machines commonly found today. The processing principle was the same: the machine had a metal container with small holes in the middle. When making marshmallows, sugar is first added to the metal container, heated, and melts into syrup. When the container is rotated at high speed, the syrup is thrown out of the small hole by centrifugal force, pulling out slim strands of sugar in the process. The shreds quickly cool to a solid-state and are gathered together into a ball, and the delicious marshmallow is ready.


Morrison and Wharton made their debut with their marshmallow machine at the St Louis World's Fair in 1904, a grand fair that attracted 20 million visitors and was the perfect opportunity for the marshmallow machine to shine.


At that time, the marshmallow was not yet called "marshmallow," and Morrison and Wharton gave it the great name "Fairy Floss."


Marshmallows In Circulation


By the way, another American dentist, Josef Lascaux, also left his mark on the history of marshmallows.


Josef started making marshmallows more than a decade after Morrison and Wharton, and although he did not patent them, he also independently invented his marshmallow machine.


Interestingly, the marshmallows he made were not sold to the general public but exclusively to patients in his dental practice.


The name "Cotton Candy," which he had given to the image in 1920, soon became widely accepted, and the word "Fairy Silk" faded into obscurity.


As you can imagine, the marshmallow machine has been refined and perfected to this day.


Without further ado, this could be a story of an eye for an eye.To find out more about the Marshmallow Machine, please contact us