William James Morrison (1860–1926) was an American dentist and inventor who is best known for developing the first cotton candy machine in 1897 along with John C. Warton. The confection was first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World's Fair as "Fairy Floss" with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ (equivalent to $6.97 in 2019) per box.

Joseph Lascaux, also a dentist, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the "fairy floss" name faded into history, although it retains this name in Australia today.

Cotton candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar, spinning it centrifugally through minute holes — and finally allowing the sugar to rapidly cool and re-solidify into fine strands. It is often sold at fairs, circuses, carnivals, and festivals — served on either a stick, paper cone or in a plastic bag.

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