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The Invention of Cotton Candy
(and what is it made out of?)
Cotton candy is a soft confection that is made from sugar that is heated and spun into slim threads that look like a mass of cotton. It was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton, candymakers from Nashville, Tennessee. They invented a device that heated sugar in a spinning bowl that had tiny holes in it. It formed a treat that they originally called "Fairy Floss." As the bowl spun around, the caramelized sugar was forced through the tiny holes, making feathery candy that melts in the mouth.
They introduced it to the world at the St. Louis World's Fair (1904) and sold huge amounts of it for 25 cents a box (that was lot of money back then). They sold about 68,655 boxes at that fair. The term "cotton candy" began to be used for this treat in about 1920. In the United Kingdom, it is called "candy floss."
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