An ice cream cone, poke or cornet is a dry, cone-shaped pastry, usually made of a wafer similar in texture to a waffle, which enables ice cream to be held in the hand and eaten without a bowl or spoon. Various types of ice cream cones include wafer (or cake) cones, waffle cones, and sugar cones.
Many styles of cones are made, including pretzel cones and chocolate-coated cones. A variety of double wafer cone exists that allows two scoops of ice cream to be served side by side. Wafer cones are often made with a flat bottom instead of a pointed, conical shape, enabling the ice cream and "cone" to stand upright on a surface without support. These types of wafer cones are often branded as "cups".
The earliest cones were rolled by hand, from hot and thin wafers, but in 1912, Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for rolling ice cream cones. He sold his company to Nabisco in 1928, which is still producing ice cream cones as of 2012. Independent ice-cream providers such as Ben & Jerry's make their own cones.
The Joy Ice Cream Cone Company, located in Hermitage, PA, was founded in 1918 and began to mass-produce baked ice cream cones to sell to restaurants, as well as the everyday consumer. The company produces over 2 billion ice cream cones (sugar, cake, and waffle cones) a year. It is said that the company is the largest ice cream cone maker in the world as of 2009.
In 1928, J.T. "Stubby" Parker of Fort Worth, Texas created an ice cream cone that could be stored in a grocer's freezer, with the cone and the ice cream frozen together as one item. He formed The Drumstick Company in 1931 to market the product, and in 1991 the company was purchased by Nestlé.
In 1959, Spica, an Italian ice cream manufacturer based in Naples, invented a process whereby the inside of the waffle cone was insulated from the ice cream by a layer of oil, sugar and chocolate. Spica registered the name Cornetto in 1960. Initial sales were poor, but in 1976 Unilever bought out Spica and began a mass-marketing campaign throughout Europe. Cornetto is now one of the most popular ice creams in the world.
In 1979, a patent for a new packaging design by David Wienstien led to easier transportation of commercial ice cream cones. Wienstien's design enabled the ice cream cone to be wrapped in a wax paper package. This made the cones more sanitary while also preventing the paper wrapper from falling off during transportation, or from becoming stuck to the cone.(from wikipedia)