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Friday, October 7, 2016

The Popsicle Was Invented By An 11 Year Old


Today I found out that the Popsicle was invented by an eleven-year-old boy.

In 1905, eleven-year-old Frank Epperson from San Francisco, California invented the popular hot weather treat, the Popsicle as we know it today. However, the invention supposedly came about as a pure accident! According to the Popsicle company, one cold evening Frank left a mixture of powder flavored soda water with a stir stick in it on the porch. Because of the cold weather outside, he awoke to a frozen treat on a stick.

Seventeen years later, in 1922, Epperson served his ice lollipops at a Fireman’s ball and they were a huge hit. It didn’t take long then for Epperson to realize the commercial possibilities of his accidental invention. A year later, in 1923, he introduced the frozen pop on a stick to the public at Neptune Beach, an amusement park in Alameda, California. It was a big success. He soon after applied and received a patent for a “frozen confectionery”, in 1924, which he named the “Epsicle Ice Pop”. He began producing it in different fruit flavors on birch wood sticks.

Epperson and his partners set up a royalty arrangement with the Popsicle Corporation, but Mr. Epperson sold his patent to the Popsicle after 1925, to the Joe Lowe Company of New York. At the time, he was broke and had to liquidate all his assets to stay afloat. The Joe Lowe Company grew the brand as the Popsicle gained popularity, diversifying into similar frozen treats such as the twin Popsicle, Fudgsicle, Creamsicle and Dreamsicle.  The Popsicle brand today belongs to Unilever’s Good Humor division, having been owned by a number of companies since its inception.

Bonus Facts:
  • Today the Popsicle brand is an American classic with more than 30 creative variations of the original.
  • Two billion Popsicle ice pops are consumed every year. Cherry is the number one favorite Popsicle flavor.
  • It is unclear exactly where the name “popsicle” comes from, but it is thought it derives from the contraction of “lollypop” and “icicle”.
  • Another food invention that was supposedly discovered accidentally was the Chocolate Chip Cookie. Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate cookies but ran out of regular baker’s chocolate. She substituted it with broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt. Later she sold the recipe to Nestle in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips.