Alfred L. Cralle

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Alfred L. Cralle

Alfred L. Cralle (September 4, 1866 – May 3, 1920) was an African-American businessman and inventor of the "Ice Cream Mold and Disher".

Cralle was born in Kenbridge, Virginia in 1866 just after the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865).[1][2] He attended local schools and worked with his father in the carpentry trade as a young man, becoming interested in mechanics. He was sent to Washington, D.C. where he attended Wayland Seminary,[1] one of a number of schools founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to help educate African-Americans after the Civil War.

Ice Cream Mold and Disher

He then settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he first served as a porter in a drug store and at a hotel.[1] Alfred noticed that servers at the hotel had trouble with ice cream sticking to serving spoons, and he developed an ice cream scoop.[3]

On 10 June 1896, Alfred applied for a patent on his invention. He was awarded patent 576,395 on 2 February 1897.[4] The patented "Ice Cream Mold and Disher," was an ice cream scoop with a built-in scraper to allow for one-handed operation.[5][6] Alfred's functional design is reflected in modern ice cream scoops.[7]

He later become a general manager for the Afro-American Financial, Accumulating, Merchandise and Business association.[1]

Cralle died in a car accident in 1920.


  1. ^ a b c d "Afro-American Notes". The Pittsburgh Press. February 14, 1897. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  2. ^ "The Gifts of African American Innovation". Desmond Tutu Foundation USA. February 12, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  3. ^ "The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". Retrieved 2018-09-05. 
  4. ^ "United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) : nombre de brevets délivrés à certains quelques opérateurs de télécommunications". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2018-09-05. 
  5. ^ "History of Ices & Ice Cream". What's Cooking America. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  6. ^ "A. L. Cralle Ice Cream Mold and Disher Patent Number 576395". U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  7. ^ Stradley, Linda (2015-05-14). "Ice Cream History, Whats Cooking America". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 2018-09-05.