HISTORY OF SHAVED ICE/SNO-BALL
"THE SNO-BALL: WORLD'S OLDEST FROZEN TREAT"
During the Roman Empire (27 B.C. to A.D. 395) snow was hauled from the mountain tops to the city. Syrup was added to make the world's first frozen dessert, the sno-ball.
The first manufactured snow was made by hand tools such as a wood plane.Such tools can shave a block of ice into fluffy snow. Hand held ice shavers were designed solely to produce sno-balls. Ice shavers made by numerous manufacturers were available in the late eighteen hundreds. In New Orleans the sno-ball cooling tradition was popularized around the 1920's.
In 1934 Ernest Hansen invented and patented the first motorized ice block shaver to produce New Orleans style shaved-ice. The high volume snow production was welcomed by the corner ice shaver vendors citywide. Numerous other New Orleans sno-ball machines followed.
Hansen Ice Shaving Machine Ernest Hansen at the Sno-Bliz Shop
Most of the retail shaved ice outlets in New Orleans spell the name of their product sno-balls without the w. This spelling identifies the product to all New Orleanians and indicates an ethnic heritage to the long standing tradition. There is a trend for new markets.