In 1851, a dairyman named Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory in the country. But it would be another 55 years until the advent of the ice cream scoop. Its inventor: Alfred L. Cralle, a 30-year-old porter living in Pittsburg who identified a problem with one of the fastest-growing confections in America. Ice cream, especially when very cold, is difficult to serve with everyday cutlery. So, in 1896, he devised a scoop with a built-in scraper, and called it the “Ice Cream Mold and Disher,” for which he filed the patent.
More than a century later, ice cream–loving Americans are still searching for the perfect scoop. Most recently, there’s Michael Chou, an aerospace engineer from Michigan, who had the simple realization that in order to protect the user’s wrist, a scoop should function like a shovel, digging through hard ice cream, instead of prying. His invention, the Midnight Scoop, is forged from aerospace-grade aluminum and features both an ergonomic handle and pointed blade, which encourage the user to use their arm and chest muscles in place of their wrist. Chou went through 38 prototypes before landing on, what he calls, the “perfect” one.
Now available at select Crate & Barrel locations, the Midnight Scoop will be sold online later this year via the company’s website.