It was a little tough to trace the actual history of this fluffy carnival and circus treat..... there were a few conflicting stories. So we will provide you with what we discovered and you can choose the story you like best.
The earliest we could trace Cotton Candy back to was 1897. Two Tennessee candy makers, William Morrison and John C. Wharton from Nashville, invented the first electric cotton candy machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate. melting the sugar into a liquid state, and then using centrifugal force to spin the sugar and then forcing it through tiny holes thus creating, as they called it, fairy floss. The two were give a patent for their invention in 1899. They took their discovery to the St. Louis State fair in 1904. At the fair, they sold the Fairy Floss in chipped - wood boxes for 25 cents each. They sold 68,655 boxes.
The city of New Orleans claim that Josef Delarose Lascaux. a dentist, invented Cotton Candy and the Cotton Candy Machine.
The last interesting story is that cotton candy first appeared at the Ringling Bros. Circus in1900 and Thomas Patton received a patent on the Cotton Candy Machine in 1900.
Cotton Candy was originally called Fairy Floss ( this ties in to the Morrison / Wharton story ). The British call it candy floss and here in America, we started calling it cotton candy in th 1920s.
If you or anyone you know can provide information on history of cotton candy we'd love to hear from you.