Cotton Candy Machines
The history of cotton candy machines
Cotton candy machines have been a common sight at carnivals and fairgrounds since the early 1900s when William J. Morrison and John C. Wharton first used their machine at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair. It was first invented in 1897 by the two Nashville candy makers when they developed an electric machine to produce the popular treat, then known as spun sugar. Previously spun sugar was made by melting sugar, dipping a fork in to create strings of dried sugar and then placing the strings on an upside down bowl. The strings of sugar would then be bundled onto a plate and served as a desert. It was a trend that began in Italy in the fifteenth century but because making it was so time consuming it wasn't practical to try and sell it to large groups of people. Electric cotton candy machines made it possible to produce large amounts of spun sugar in a fraction of the time and it was such a huge success that an entire indsutry emerged to satisfy the demand.
Unfortunately these early cotton candy machines were quite unreliable and constantly broke down. Then in 1949 the Gold Medal company developed a far more reliable version and they have dominated the industry ever since. However, the basic concept of how these machines work remains the same. All cotton candy machines consist of a bowl into which the sugar and coloring is poured. Heaters then melt the sugar while it is spun; the centrifugal force pushes the melted sugar out through tiny holes into a larger bowl where the cotton-like candy is caught by the operator. It's a simple concept but any who has tried it will tell you it's not as easy as it sounds. For this reason cotton candy machines have been as much an attraction at fairs and carnivals as anything else and have captivated children of all ages since the 1904 World's Fair.
Cotton Candy Manufacturers - Gold Medal, Rival
Modern advances have meant that just about anybody can get a cotton candy machine of their very own and home cotton candy makers are sold in department stores everywhere. However, most machines found in these stores are not very reliable, not very durable and don't produce much cotton candy. They may make a novel gift for children but anyone who is serious about their candy will need to look online or at independent distributors for a machine with a decent warranty and a sturdy design. Gold Medal is the best choice but other reliable manufacturers include Nostalgia Electrics and Rival. Both these manufacturers produce home and commercial cotton candy machines that have received positive feedback by consumers and independent testers alike. Obviously there is a big difference in price between these and the plastic tweety bird models found in department stores, but if you're looking for a good quality cotton candy maker it's a worthwhile investment.
The cost of owning a cotton candy machine doesn't end with the purchase price. You'll need to get sugar, coloring, cones or bags and then there's the cost of running the machine. Purchase price depends on the motor, spinner head, band and the bowl (for example, whether the bowl is made from aluminum or plastic) while the cost of running a cotton candy maker depends on how much wattage is required to power the machine.