Until the end of the 19th Century, it was common for street ice-cream vendors to see their wares in a small glass which became known in both the UK and the US as a “penny lick”, so called because of the price paid for such a serving and the manner in which it was consumed. The glass was thick and so it magnified the contents of the small space which was filled with ice-cream.
That much is not in doubt, but after that point the history of ice-cream eating is open to a lot more dispute. Whether due to the cost of replacing lost or broken glassware, or in response to concerns about hygiene (the glasses weren’t washed before re-use) at some point they were replaced by paper, pastry or waffle cones as a result of an invention in France, Manchester or New Jersey, depending who you believe.
Whatever the truth, the cone is part of the experience of take-away ice-cream, though in the UK these have traditionally been wafer cones rather than the altogether more satisfying waffle, though thankfully that is changing.
Now what shall we fill these with…?