Friday, February 22, 2019

Day 22 - Alfred L. Cralle - Next Time You Have Ice Cream....

Alfred L. Cralle

1866 - 1920

(Today is supposed to be U, but I couldn't find a good one, so I'm going to go with a one-shot inventor. I'm going to be doing that quite a bit here at the end of the alphabet)

Who Was Alfred L. Cralle

Alfred was born in Kenbridge, VA just after the Civil War ended. After his early school life, he went to work with his father in the carpentry business.

While he was working with his dad, he became interested in mechanical things.

His parents decided to send him to college to further his education.

Cralle attended Wayland Seminary in Washington DC. This was one of the schools set up after the Civil War to help African Americans improve their education.

After leaving the seminary, Cralle moved to Pittsburgh, PA and took a job as a porter at the Saint Charles hotel.  Merkell Brothers Drugstore was in the hotel. 

It was a hot summer and at the soda counter of the Merkell Brothers Drugstore, people were buying lots of ice cream.

He noticed that the soda jerks had to hold the cone with one hand and try to get the ice cream out with the other and then get it into the cones. People were using ladles or spoons and it was both tricky,  difficult, and the scoops were not uniform.

His got a beautiful, mechanical idea.

What Did He Invent

Ready for this?

Alfred L. Cralle Patented The Ice Cream Scoop in 1897!

Alfred L. Cralle's Patent

This is the one and only thing Alfred L. Cralle patented. It was such an amazing thing that it was reproduced and sold like fire. 

The basic design, as you can see is still in use today, and all of our current ice cream scoops are based on this one patent.

He never got a penny for this invention, nobody seems to remember he invented it at all.

He died in a car accident after suffering a series of personal losses.

His Legacy?
Yum. Ice Cream.

The next time you reach into the drawer and pull out your ice cream scoop, or see one on the shelf, or go into Cold Stone or Baskin Robbins...give a quick thank you to Alfred L. Cralle.

He made the world of ice cream infinitely sweeter!

Celebrate Black History Month!

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