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 (Circa 2003)
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 outside Louisiana to use the snowball spelling with the "w". This spelling further separates the snowball from the chipped ice of a sno-cone. Snow spelled with the "w" creates greater product curiosity with potential customers.
Summer Snow Ice Shaver
Whirlwind Ice Shaving Machine