15 May 2015

A mesmerizing cotton candy video

Filmed in ChongQing, China.  I'll bet creations like this will start showing up at state fairs.

If you're like me, this video will have you start wondering about cotton candy and how it's made...
Cotton candy was first recorded in Europe in the 19th century. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person. Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World's Fair as "Fairy Floss" with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ per box (equivalent to $6 per box today). Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the "fairy floss" name faded away, although it retains this name in Australia. In the 1970s an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it.
I didn't find a short, simple video of how the machine works, though there probably is one out there.

p.s. - I had to laugh when I read that the cotton-candy machine was first developed by a dentist !


  1. I suspect that dentist was drumming up business -- or did they know then that sugar helped cause tooth decay? I'll Google it and report back....

  2. Okay, according to Wikipedia, "In the 1890s, W.D. Miller conducted a series of studies that led him to propose an explanation for dental caries that was influential for current theories. He found that bacteria inhabited the mouth and that they produced acids that dissolved tooth structures when in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates.[118] This explanation is known as the chemoparasitic caries theory.[119] Miller's contribution, along with the research on plaque by G.V. Black and J.L. Williams, served as the foundation for the current explanation of the etiology of caries.[108] Several of the specific strains of lactobacilli were identified in 1921 by Fernando E. Rodriguez Vargas."

    So there was some evidence that caries was caused by sugars being eaten by bacteria and that the bacteria produced lactic acid which destroyed teeth at the time that the automated cotton candy machines were being made -- however, the dentist in question may not have been aware of such studies....

  3. they should flavor the sugar, if they aren't doing that. flavored flowers - mmm...



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