On Nikola Tesla’s birthday, I think it’s important to remember that he invented the world’s first cotton candy machine…

…Unfortunately, the device never made it in the marketplace, as it was as big as a fucking house.

I made this stupid joke to someone today, after stumbling across the above image of Tesla, who, had he not died at the hand of Edison, would have turned 156 today. Unlike most of my stupid jokes, though, I couldn’t get this one out of my head. Something about the idea of Tesla being driven to create a giant cotton candy machine just made me really happy. So, I wanted to record it here, in hopes that it might continue to amuse me in my old age.

Speaking of cotton candy, I just did a little research, and its history is fascinating… Did you know that it debuted at the 1904 World’s Fair under the name “Fairy Floss”?

The following comes from Wikipedia:

…Cotton candy was first recorded in the 18th 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 the then-high price of 25¢, half the cost of admission to the fair (equivalent to $6 today). Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the fairy floss name faded away. In the 1970s an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it. This made it easier to produce and available to sell at carnivals, fairs, and stores in the 1970s and on…

And is it just a coincidence that dentists have been the ones behind the development of cotton candy, or do you think that they may have purposefully set out to create and popularize a better mechanism for delivering sticky sugar to human teeth?

This entry was posted in History, Mark's Life, Other, Science, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    More importantly, Tesla invented the Violet Ray: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_ray

    I have one of these; it can also be used to blast electronic keyboards, which make a wonderful noise as they expire.

    Happy birthday, Tesla.

  2. anonymous
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Tesla used lightening to bring together chocolate and peanut butter for the first time and, by doing so, create the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

  3. Eel
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I know that you’re kidding, but it really does look like a cotton candy machine.


  4. R2D2
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Tesla’s Alternating Cotton (AC) technology was far superior, but Edison, the more ruthless businessman, won the battle with Direct Cotton (DC). If I’m not mistaken, Edison won, in part, after demonstrating how a giant elephant could choke to death on cotton candy made with AC.

  5. big brother
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Tesla was an alchemist. He envisioned a network of these towering cotton candy machines stretching across the earth, pulling wispy mile-long strands of pink fairy floss from the ether. He thought that he’d solved the problem of world hunger. Edison, however, had other plans. He wanted people to pay for their cotton candy. And that’s why he had Tesla fed to a bear owned by Henry Ford enforcer Harry Bennett.

  6. anonymous
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Speaking of teeth, I just received the following in a newsletter.

    Flossing your teeth every day could add 6.4 years to your life, according to Michael Roizen, M.D., author of RealAge. In his book, Roizen lists flossing as one of the most important daily activities, along with exercise and quitting smoking that could extend your life span. Roizen’s calculation may raise some eyebrows, but the idea that oral health is connected to overall health isn’t far-fetched. The mouth, after all, is an integral part of the body.

    Researchers suspect that the bacteria that produce dental plaque enter the bloodstream. They say these bacteria are somehow associated with the inflammation that occurs with plaque that blocks blood vessels and causes heart disease. Other researchers have found links between oral bacteria and stroke, diabetes, and the birth of preterm or low birth weight babies.

  7. KKD
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Dentists are devils.

  8. lost window
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    He and Edison were the Biggie and Tupac of their day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Vinnie Header