What's the scoop? Ice cream of course!
Alfred L. Cralle, an African-American invented the ice cream mold.
Alfred L. Cralle was born on September 4, 1866 in Lunenberg County, Virginia. He attended the local school and worked with his father in the carpentry business as a young man.
When he was older, he continued to work with his father in the carpentry business and became interested in mechanics. Alfred realized he needed to learn more and took advanced courses at Wayland Seminary in Washington, D.C., one of many schools created to help educate African-Americans after the end of the Civil War.
Alfred moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where he worked as a porter in Markell Brothers' drug store and the St. Charles Hotel. While working at the drug store, he noticed that like you and me, everyone enjoyed eating ice cream. However, people serving the ice cream found it difficult to scoop because the ice cream seemed to always stick to the spoons and ladles. The person scooping the ice cream would have to use two hands and at least two instruments to serve the ice cream. What did Alfred do? He invented a mechanical device that kept the ice cream from sticking. His ice cream mold or disher, could be used with one hand. It was strong, inexpensive, and it could be shaped like a cone or a mound. He received a patent on February 2, 1897, patent number 576,395. Alfred Cralle's ice cream mold was designed so well that the basic design is still in use today.