Full ScoopThree delightful serving scoops.

Full ScoopThree delightful serving scoops.

The ice cream knife and scythe-like silver-plated servers used in France and the overly complicated scoops favored in America were replaced in 1897 by the “ice cream mold and disher” patented by Alfred L. Cralle—the first African-American to receive a solo invention patent. A conical or domed device with a deep barrel and mechanical lever that swiped along the back of the basin and released the frozen confection, Cralle’s tool prevented ice cream from sticking to the scoop. His still-popular design made serving so simple that it may well have contributed to the rise in consumption, prompting a German officer in World War I to say about America: “We do not fear that nation of ice cream eaters.”

Top: Alessi 380 ice cream scoop. Middle: Alison Jackson tea scoops. Bottom: Hay C...

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