Edible cones were mentioned in French cooking books as early as 1825, when Julien Archambault described how one could roll a cone from "little waffles". Another printed reference to an edible cone is in Mrs A. B. Marshall's Cookery Book, written in 1888 by Agnes B. Marshall (1855–1905) of England. Her recipe for "Cornet with Cream" said that "the cornets were made with almonds and baked in the oven, not pressed between irons".
In the United States, ice cream cones were popularized in the first decade of the 20th century. On December 13, 1904, a New Yorker named Italo Marchioni received U.S. patent No. 746971 for a mold for making pastry cups to hold ice cream. Marchioni claimed that he has been selling ice cream in edible pastry holders since 1896. However, Marchioni's patent was not for a cone and he lost the lawsuits that he later filed against cone manufacturers for patent infringement.
Abe Doumar and the Doumar family can also claim credit for the ice cream cone. At the age of 16 Doumar began to sell paperweights and other items. One night, he bought a waffle from another vendor transplanted to Norfolk, Virginia from Ghent in Belgium, Leonidas Kestekidès. Doumar proceeded to roll up the waffle and place a scoop of ice cream on top. He then began selling the cones at the St. Louis Exposition. His cones were such a success that he designed a four-iron baking machine and had a foundry make it for him. At the Jamestown Exposition in 1907, he and his brothers sold nearly twenty-three thousand cones. After that, Abe bought a semiautomatic 36-iron machine, which produced 20 cones per minute and opened Doumar's Drive In in Norfolk, Virginia, which still operates at the same location over 100 years later.
Commercial cones -
The earliest cones were rolled by hand, from hot and thin wafers, but in 1912, Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for rolling ice cream cones. He sold his company to Nabisco in 1928, which is still producing ice cream cones as of 2012. Independent ice-cream providers such as Ben & Jerry's make their own cones.
The Joy Ice Cream Cone Company, located in Hermitage, PA, was founded in 1917 and began to mass-produce baked ice cream cones to sell to restaurants, as well as the everyday consumer. The company handles 1.5 billion ice cream cones a year. It is said that the company is the largest ice cream cone maker in the world as of 2009.
And there you have it - far more information on cones than you probably thought you needed. But doesn't it inspire you to go out and find a local creamery or dairy store to enjoy today?