William Morrison (dentist)

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For other people named William Morrison, see William Morrison (disambiguation).

William James Morrison (1860–1926) was a dentist and inventor from Nashville, Tennessee, who is best known for developing the cotton candy machine.[1]

Morrison was an avid inventor, and has a number of inventions to his credit. One of them is the first cotton candy (originally named Fairy Floss) machine, which he invented in 1897 in cooperation with confectioner John C. Wharton. This electric machine that melted sugar and then used forced-air to push it through a wire screen. It was introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and was a big success. Thomas Patton and Josef Delarose Lascaux also claimed to invent the cotton candy machine.

Morrison was also a lawyer, author, and leader of civic and political affairs.

He later became president of the Tennessee State Dental Association.


  1. ^ Christen AG, Christen JA (July 2005). "William J. Morrison (1860-1926): co-inventor of the cotton candy machine". J Hist Dent. 53 (2): 51–56. PMID 16092607. 
  • "History of the Tennessee State Dental Association" by Madison Jones, comp. by Thomas Davidson Dow. Tennessee Dental Association (Nashville), 1958