For hundreds of years, aristocrats savored delicate webs of sugar spun by elite chefs, but for regular people, that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth sensation was far too expensive. Then, in 1897, John C. Wharton and William Morrison invented a machine that melted and spun the sugar with ease. In 1904, they brought their machine to the St. Louis World's Fair, where it was a huge success. In the 1970s, a further innovation fully automated the process all the way through packaging the confection in paper or plastic bags. Today, it's hard to imagine a street fair without those pink, azure and ultramarine clouds of what used to be called fairy floss.