Cotton Candy Machines

Written by Sierra Rein
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William Morrison and John C. Wharton invented the first cotton candy machines in 1897. These Nashville candy makers created an electric machine that heated crystallized sugar onto a spinning plate. The sugar was then forced through a series of small holes by centrifugal velocity until it turned into long, thin strands of what they called "fairy floss."

Today's cotton candy machines are not so much different than Morrison and Wharton's machines, although they are considered a lot more reliable. They can now be found in carnivals, circuses, piers, and wharf areas, alongside parade routes, in theme parks and even at personal birthday parties. Because cotton candy itself is tasty, has only about 100 calories, and contains less sugar than a can of non-diet soda, most cotton candy vendors claim at least a 90 percent profit.

Indeed, whether it is set on a cart or on the floor, even the largest of cotton candy machines takes up only about two square feet of standing space. These machines take little or no experience to set up and operate, and are safe even for small children to take on a hand at spinning up the delicate, sugary fibers into a fun and decorative ball. Typically, entry-level cotton candy makers weigh only about 50 pounds, while high-output ones weigh in at around 15, making them very portable and easy to install.

Specialized Double-Flavor Cotton Candy Machines

Because these machines are so simple, it is quite an easy thing to output the spun sugar in new and more attractive ways. Some of these machines can produce two flavor/color combinations in one machine, allowing one color to be made in sequence before the other. The operator can then liven up the creative process and mix the colors together, layer one within the center of the other, or simply make even servings of both colors throughout the day.

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