Though the 1904 St. Louis Exposition  was the grandest World's Fair and  had the most amazing inventions (for that time),  there were many fallacies and misconceptions about certain inventions, mainly pertaining to food.  The Fair had 80 snack concession stands and 35 fashionable restaurants to feed the many hungry visitors; with it's 20,000,000 visitors, many people  got to see unique and   amazing food items, both unfamiliar and known. Remember, communications was still in its infancy, hence, what someone invented in  1898 for instance, might not had been known outside  of a few miles or isolated across the seas.  Because of great distances as well as the innovative times, it was easily feasible that several people invented- let's say  the ice cream cone, while not  knowing about each others creation. Inventions overseas were difficult to discover by far off cultures, and many were never documented, their genesis lost in  time.

Though all these food items include the rumor that they were invented or introduced at the 1904 World's Fair, the truth, though sometimes difficult to figure out, points to the Exposition popularizing most of these foods.  Yet at least a couple were  introduced for the first time at the Fair. 


There are dozens of descriptions of cones or wafers used in correlation with ices, ice creams and whipped creams.  Here are just a sample of a few:

Wafer cones were first mentioned in Bernard Claremont's-   The Professed Cook, published in  1769; while first recorded  in  English  print was   Charles Elmé Francatelli's The Modern Cook (1846), in which he suggests cornets filled with ice cream as garnishes.

William Alexis Jarrin's cookbook-  The Italian Confectioner,  talked about the wafers used for ice cream. 

In   1894, a  cookbook by Charles Ranhofer- chef at Delmonico's restaurant in New York, contained a recipe for rolled waffle-cornets filled with flavored whipped cream. This was not a frozen dessert. 

In 1896, Italo Marchiony, an Italian immigrant   sold his homemade lemon ice from a pushcart (hokey-pokey) on Wall Street,  New York City. As many of his dishes were returned broken, he created an  edible baked waffle cup with sloping sides and a flat bottom, to hold  his  lemon ice for his customers.  He filed for a patent in September of  1903 and was issued it about three months later. Though the product was frozen, his edible cup was not in the shape of a cone. 

Marchiony took his  confection to the 1904 Louisiana Exposition.  The legend has it that  he ran out of his edible  cups and asked a waffle-maker in the next booth to roll the waffles in to the shape of a cone. 

The most popular 1904 Fair legend has it that ice cream vender- Arnold Fomachou ran out of dishes on a hot summers day,  rolled up a Zalibia waffle  that a pastry-maker  Ernest Hamwi was selling, hence the ice cream cone.   

Other stories include Charles  and Frank  Menches (originally spelled- Minches),   who at the 1904 World's Fair,  when a lady friend needed something more dainty  for  eating her ice cream, they took a layer of an ice cream sandwich and rolled it into a cone around the ice cream, calling it a cornucopia. The Menches brothers are also credited with inventing  Cracker Jacks, and the first hamburger.

Yet another World's Fair legend includedan  Lebanese immigrant-  Abe Doumar,  who worked  at the Jerusalem exhibit. He turned his penny waffle into a 10-cent cone when he added ice cream. He later set up a business at Coney Island, New Jersey.

Syrian Nick and brother Albert  Kabbaz,  as well as  Turkish Immigrant David Avayou, both venders at the 1904 World's Fair also staked a claim to the honor of inventor of the ice cream cone.

There are so many stories, that the ‘truth’ after 100 years is impossible to determine. It definitely looks like there was quite a lot of `borrowing'  of each others cone ideas at the Fair.  Regardless, the 1904 Louisiana Exposition  popularized the ice cream cone, but was it invented there? No one knows, but the answer could be a certain- maybe? Probably?


There are many legends about the iced tea innovation  at the Fair, but as with the ice cream cone, this is another 'invention' that is difficult to document, yet the beverage was definitely known before the Louisiana Exposition. 

According to the most popular story, on a sweltering day during the St. Louis World's Fair, Englishman Richard Blechynden's tea concession was not doing well. To bolster business,  Mr. Blechynden added ice to his tea and created an American classic.  

Though Blechynden's story might be correct, there is documented  proof that iced tea was around long before the Fair. 

During a Confederate veteran reunion  at  an Artesian Park in Nevada, Missouri,  on September 20 & 21,  1890;  15,000 veterans ate  a huge meal which included  of 880 gallons of iced tea.  The newspaper article suggested that most readers already knew what iced tea was. 


The hot dog was popularized at the 1904 Fair when German concessionaire- Antoine Feuchtwanger lent gloves to his sausage customers to wear while eating his  hot and juicy  sausages. When some of the gloves were not returned. His wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead of the mitts.  Feuchtwanger's   brother-in-law,  Antoine- a baker  made long rolls to fit around the sausages.

Unfortunately this legend is not even   close to the beginning of the hot dog.  

As early as the latter 1600's,  Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg, Germany, sold hot dog sausages which are generally called Wiener or Wiener Würstchenhot. He later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product, hence the Frankfurter name.

One of the first  North American hot dog  stories comes  from a report about  says a  Charles Feltman, a German butcher,  sold them, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from a push cart in New York City's Bowery district during the 1860's. In 1871,  Feltman opened up a  hot dog stand at Coney Island and  sold 3,684 during his first year.

The Chicago Colombian  Exposition of  1893 also claimed to be the host of the sausage in  a bun. Like the St. Louis World's Fair,  they  popularized it. 

Another story says that Harry Stevens an  ice cream and soft drinks vender  was having a difficult time selling his refreshments on a cold April day in 1900  at the Polo Grounds,  New York.  Harry thought of selling something to warm his customers up. He  sent out for  long German sausages and sold them in warm buns, advertising them as "red hot dachshund sausages."

As a side note, the French's Company has claimed that the 1904 World's Fair was the first time that the hot dog, the bun and a creamy mustard were used together. Of course it was their mustard, so I think that this was  a promotional ruse. 



The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair legend begins when Athens Texan  Fletcher Davis, a potter by  trade, "Old Dave,"  moved to Webster Groves, a St. Louis suburb, when the pottery business was  slow  to operate his food  stand at the Fair. Fletcher took some raw hamburger steak and cooked it on a  flat grill, he placed the browned patty between two  slices of homemade toast (garnished with a big slice of  raw onion). He opened up a concession stand and began selling the ground beef patty sandwich on the Pike.

The name-  hamburger  was allegedly coined from a person, whose relatives came from the southern regions of Germany, who  were angry  at  the northern Germans in the city of Hamburg, because they enjoyed eating  raw ground meat.  The southern German's who settled in St. Louis  may have named the sandwich hamburger, as a derisive gesture toward the `barbaric,'  ground-meat eaters in  Hamburg. 

Also on the Pike, the hamburger steak  was served at the Tyrolean Alps Restaurant, though this could have been more like a ground sirloin dish.

Unfortunately, there are  stories as early as 1885.  15-year old-  Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin sold hamburgers from his ox-drawn food stand at the Outagamie County Fair. 

Otto Kuasw,  a cook   in Hamburg, Germany, fried up  a patty of ground beef sausage in butter, with a  fried egg. He   placed it  between two slices of  buttered bread and  called it  a  "Deutsches Beefsteak." Sailors traveling  from Hamburg to New York, told local restaurateurs about the beefsteak which was replicated and renamed a "hamburger."

Frank and Charles Menches of ice cream cone and Cracker Jack fame  were cooking their famous  pork sausage sandwich in the summer of 1885 at a fair. When the local meat market ran out of pork sausage, one of the brothers came back with  five pounds of chopped beef. Menches cooked the beef patties  up on their stove.  They called this sandwich the hamburger after Hamburg, New York where the fair was being held.

Kenneth Lassen claimed that his grandfather Louis Lassen in 1900,  “invented” the hamburger sandwich  in a small café (Louis Lunch),  in New Haven, Connecticut.  

The Chicago World's Fair of  1893,   claimed to have 'introduced' the hamburger to the United States. This is not true.



Peanut butter was invented quite early in culinary history. Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 1400s. The Chinese as well as the Incans  from South America had crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries.

Civil War soldiers dined on 'peanut porridge.'

Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis patented a peanut butter-making machine in 1903. 

In 1890, an unknown St. Louis physician  suggested to  George A. Bayle Jr. (an owner of a food products company),  to create a ground peanut paste as a nutritious protein substitute for people with poor teeth. After some experimentation, he  ground roasted peanuts in his hand-cranked meat grinder. Bayle  began selling peanut butter out of barrels for  6¢ per pound.

Around the same time as Bayle's `invention,'  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, began experimenting with peanut butter as a vegetarian source of protein for his patients at the Western Health Reform Institute. Kellogg patented the  process of preparing nut Meal in 1895, however, their peanut butter was not very tasty,  their  peanuts were steamed, instead of roasted, prior to grinding.

At the  1904 World's Fair, it has been said that  C.H. Sumner was the first to introduce peanut butter to the 20,000,000 fairgoers.  He sold 705.11 dollars  of the treat at his concession stand.  As with the hamburger and the hotdog,  peanut butter  was popularized at the Louisiana  Purchase Exposition. 

Though he is sometimes portrayed as the inventor of peanut butter, Dr. George Washington Carver  did not invent the treat. Still, by  1903, the famous horticulturist   began his peanut research at Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama. He  developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts  and is  considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry.


Four men invented the process of creating Cotton candy (originally called- Fairy Floss):   William Morrison, John C. Wharton, Thomas Patton, and Josef Delarose
Lascaux in 1897.  Nashville candymakers  Morrison & Wharton patented an  electric cotton candy machine,
which used centrifugal force to spin and melt sugar through small holes in 1899.  

In 1904, the new Nashville men sold  to  curious  1904 World's Fair crowds  68,655 boxes of cotton  candy for 25 cents a container. They made  
17,163.75 dollars.  Back then  this was a great deal of  money. 

Not to be  outdone,  Thomas Patton, in  1900,  obtained  a patent for his invention of making cotton candy, using gas-fired rotating plates to spin caramelizing sugar, he was able to form threads of cotton candy with a fork.  He introduced his new product  to the public at the Ringley Brothers Circus. 

 Josef Delarose Lascaux- a dentist,   never received a patent,  introduced the popular candy to his Louisiana dental office.    

  AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair  
                     Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008 


The name origin of this sandwich  probably comes because of its popularity at resorts and country clubs. By the late 1800s  the sandwich was a stable on various resort menus.

Former King Edward VIII of England and his wife, enjoyed the club sandwich.

The most popular legend has it that at the famous Saratoga Club House (an exclusive gentlemen only gambling house in  Saratoga Springs, New York, where the potato chip was created)  was operated by 
Richard Canfield (1865-1914).  In 1894, his kitchens began serving the club sandwiches to it's players of high-chance. 

The oldest published recipe for the club sandwich could be found in the 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, by Isabel Gordon Curtis. It is as follows:

Club Sandwich - Toast a slice of bread evenly and lightly butter it. On one half put, first, a thin slice of bacon which has been broiled till dry and tender, next a slice of the white meat of either turkey or chicken. Over one half of this place a circle cut from a ripe tomato and over the other half a tender leaf of lettuce. Cover these with a generous layer of mayonnaise, and complete this delicious "whole meal" sandwich with the remaining piece of toast.

The 1904 St. Louis Exposition  helped help popularized the club sandwich. In fact the American Inn, included on its menu-  "The American Inn Club."    Mrs. McCready's Model Restaurant, served the club.  The Old Parliament House had a "special Club Sandwich."  Even Fair  Fair Japan served a club sandwich. 

A  rumor had it that  St. Louis restaurateur Tony Faust created the club sandwich at the Luchow-Faust World’s Fair Restaurant in the Tyrolean Alps on the Pike in 1904. The restaurant was a joint venture of Faust and August Luchow of New York City. He  simply had it on his menu.  


Researcher Alexander  Anderson- a University assistant botany professor ,   discovered how to "pop" starch foods  by exploding whole grain kernels under high pressure and steam. The U.S. Patent Office gave Anderson  a patent for the "art of treating starch material."  On  April 28, 1902, Anderson  developed the first steam-injected drum, which came to be known as the "puffing cannon."

"The objects of my invention are to provide a dry method of swelling starch materials of all kinds to render them porous, thereby enhancing their nutritive value and rendering them more readily and completely digested,"  Anderson wrote in his patent application.

Applying rice to this scientific principle, Alexander created puffed rice, which actually  debuted at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, at a  concession stand in the Palace of Machinery.  They marketed it as a new confection. 

The Anderson Puffed Rice Company, a subsidiary of the Quaker Oats Company,  marketed puffed rice as a snack food, then as a breakfast cereal.


At the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas in 1855; a pharmacist, Charles Alderton,  a mixologist of fountain sodas, wanted to make an aromatic fruity  drink. After much experimentation and utilizing 23 ingredients, he finished his new concoction. W.B. Morrison, the owner of the store named it  Dr. Pepper, after the father of a girl he had loved back in his home state of Virginia- Dr. Charles Pepper. (In the 1950s, the period was removed). 

Because Alderton and Morrison could not supply the demand for his new creation, they brought in  Robert S. Lazenby,  owner of the The Circle "A" Ginger Ale Company in Waco.  Morrison and Lazenby become partners and  formed the Artesian Manufacturing & Bottling Company, which later became the Dr Pepper Company.

In preparation for the fair, Dr Pepper built a St. Louis bottling plant and began advertising in the city in 1901. Alderton was banking big on the Exposition, with a permit to sell Peppers at soda fountains and concession stands throughout Forest Park. It hoped to shake up its brand and spray it all over the U.S.—and that’s precisely what happened. 

In 1904, the company introduced Dr Pepper to 20 million people attending the 1904, World's Fair Exposition, in St. Louis. 

The Dr Pepper Company is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the United States.

In 1963 the United States Fifth District Court in Dallas declared that Dr Pepper was not a cola.


This  product was introduced to the public at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition by The National Ice Cartridge and Novelty Company, which had three booths at the Fair.  The fruit icicle was the precursor to the popsicle. The product was simply fruit juices frozen into a collapsible tube. 


Bottled water wasn't an invention but  a necessity at the Fair. Water for consumption and cooking from the unclean Mississippi was not an option.  Filtered water was piped into exhibit halls and concessionaires for 12 cents per thousand gallons (later reduced to a penny per 1,000 gallons), and was paid by the  Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company.   Free bottle water could be obtained at the water- bottling exhibits and purification displays at the Palaces of Agriculture and Manufactures.  After dusk, when the huge structures closed, the Fair shipped in water from artesian wells from DeSoto (35 miles south of St. Louis), Missouri, by the Exposition Water Company. Chemists tested the water regularly for signs of bacteria and contaminates. 

The Exposition Water Co. had 200 refrigerated `slot machines,' and charged one cent per `portion.' Brands that should be familiar today advertised their water (some suggested that their was medicinal as well): Poland Spring, White Rock, American Carlsbad, Capitol, etc. 


Visiting the  Florida exhibit, one could view a novel item, too: a hybridized version of the pomelo that had been introduced to American markets just a few years before. In  1904, it  sold for the luxury price of five dollars a box. Later on, the item was renamed- the grapefruit.  


The Genesee Pure Food Co. of Le Roy, New York, displayed a brand-new gelatin product  with flavors such as: strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lemon, which were sealed in individual packages. They displayed it at the Fair, after marketing the name in 1902- Jell-O. 


Coca Cola:

Patented in 1885, Coke's shady roots were based on a small 
amount of cocaine (not to mention caffeine), that was used to 
create the beverage. Though Coca-Cola changed the formula in 
1903 to use `spent' cocoa leaves, the  drink was `frowned' on 
at the Fair by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company. A 
few resources have stated that the  Coca-Cola was not given a 
concession at the Fair, but wasn't banned either. 

Though visitors could easily buy Hires Root Beer, Circle A 
Ginger Ale and Dr. Pepper at the Fair,  Coca-Cola was not 
that easy to find.  It was said to be sold   during the Fair's
  1904 Olympic Games as well as  to be on the Louisiana 
and Texas Rice Kitchen's menu at one point in time
 (though I have seen a copy of the restaurant's  menu and
 it was not on that particular one). 

The photo to the  right  is  an alleged  Coca Cola sign
from the 1904 World's  Fair. It  was taken  from the WFS bulletin
and  modified. 

Food Fun:

One hundred soda fountains were sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds.

Pickles were very popular at the Fair.

Over 500 applications were submitted to sell popcorn and peanuts (goobers), at the Fair.

Swans Down Cake Flour won a grand prize.

William Knox (of gelatin fame), sold his own brand of orangeade. 

St. Louis had 40 breweries at the time and  headed by August Busch's Budweiser, took in many awards (as well as high profits).

Poland Spring water won top honors as the “best spring water in the country.”

Hires Root Beer Company  had five stands on the Fairgrounds as well as a lab to formulate their product. The company made a 10,000 gross  profit, but had to give the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company 40 percent of their  take. 

St. Louis local- C.A. Windmueller had a staff of 100 and many booths to  sell his popcorn. (To meet the demand, he built a 10,000 dollar popcorn factory on the Pike). 

E.R. Cowen's hot roast beef sandwich concession made 142,677.60 dollars in sales.

Though Moxie was known before the Fair, it was not sold there.

Welch's Grape juice booths grossed 20,856.10 dollars in concessions. The company built a two-story building for its employees right on the Pike. 

The Pevely Dairy Company was the official supplier of milk to the Fair.

Schlitz Beer was advertised and sold at the Fair. 

The Orangeade Company has 12 booths on the Fairgrounds. 

Other familiar companies:

Jack Daniel Whiskey (which gave out minuscule samples of its spirits to fairgoers).
Log Cabin Syrup
Ralston Purina
Van Kamp

One of the many  Water stations  at  the Fair.