In the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, ice cream street vendors would sell ice cream in glass containers called a “penny lick.” As the name implies, the sweet treat would cost just a penny.
The penny licks were made with a thick glass bottom with a depression at the top where the ice cream was served. Through the magic of the light and reflections, the glass would actually appear to be full of ice cream until hungry buyers discovered that it was only just a lick. But, for just a penny, they probably weren’t too upset.
With all those people using the same licks and often not a lot of time to give them a proper cleansing in between uses, it wasn’t long before questions about hygiene were raised. The solution was to serve ice cream in a pastry cup, which paved the way for the invention of the waffle cone!