Cotton candy traces its history to two men named John Wharton and William Morrison who invented the first electric cotton candy machine and had it patented in 1899. The process was fairy simple. Their machine melted the sugar and then spun it around rapidly.
The result was a light, airy, threaded candy originally called, Spun Sugar or Fairy Floss. The finished confection was twirled onto a stick or paper cone so it could be held and eaten with a minimal amount of mess. To make it more appealing, food coloring was then added along with flavorings.
Soon after Wharton and Morrison invented their cotton candy machine, a man named Thomas Patton came up with a different process that uses caramelized sugar rather than melted sugar. He then formed light threads by using a fork.
Spun Sugar, or Fairy Floss, made its first public appearance at the Paris Exposition in 1900. In 1920, the name changed to cotton candy. Cotton candy continues to be an American favorite at amusement parks, fairs, carnivals, and circuses. It's most often seen in pink or blue colors.
Cotton Candy Memories
Cotton candy was always one of my favorite treats as a kid. My parents would always splurge and buy me the big bag at the state fair (pink and blue), and I would eat it until I was sick.
One Christmas, I asked for a cotton candy machine from Santa. My mother tried her best to talk me out of it saying that my older sister had one and it never worked right. Well, Christmas morning, there was my brand new cotton candy machine under the tree. I was so excited! I think I made cotton candy every day and even tried to sell it to friends and family.
Now, 20 or so years later, I still have that machine. Just a couple months ago, I got a phone call from my mother who put my 4 year old nephew on the phone. After some hesitation, he asked me if I still had my cotton candy machine. I told him that I did and that I would bring it over as soon as I dug it out of the closet.
What a joy it was to spend a couple hours with my nephew and niece making cotton candy and sharing memories. I don't think I'll ever get rid of that machine, I still love cotton candy to this day. ~ Katherine from Virginia