It is a long and illustrious history of toil that brings you a humble paper cup filled with shaved ice and flavorings. In the 1850’s, the American Industrial Revolution made ice commercially available. Ice houses in New York would commonly sell ice to places like Florida. To transport the ice to Florida, the ice houses would send a wagon with a huge block of ice south. The route to Florida would pass right through Baltimore where children would run up to the wagon and ask for a small scraping of ice. Before long, mothers started to make flavoring in anticipation of their children receiving some ice.
By the 1870s, the snowball’s popularity had risen to the degree that in the warm summer months, theaters would sell snowballs to keep their patrons cool. In the theaters hand shavers were used to shave the ice and serve them butchers’ boats while around the city, snowballs were served on newspaper.
During the Great Depression snowballs were cheap and one of the few treats that people could afford earning them the nicknames Hard Times Sundae and Penny Sunday. Today you can get an RCA sno-cone ™ from the hip team at RCA and their kids, who we like to call little shavers!