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Unwrapping the Sweet History of the Popsicle®

Unwrapping the Sweet History of the Popsicle®-1

When it comes to refreshing treats on a hot summer day, few can compete with the iconic Popsicle®. But have you ever wondered about the story behind this frozen delight? Let's embark on a journey back to 1905, where a happy accident led to the invention of a timeless summer treat.

Who Invented the Popsicle?

In 1905 in the San Francisco Bay Area, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson stumbled upon the creation of what would become the Popsicle. It all began with a mixture of sugary soda powder and water that Frank left out overnight with a wooden stirring stick inside. The freezing temperatures turned the concoction into an icy treat. When he discovered it the next morning, Epperson couldn't resist licking the frozen goodness off the wooden stirrer.


Thus, the "Epsicle" was born — a clever fusion of "icicle" and his name. Epperson began selling his accidental creation in the neighborhood, which was an instant hit.

The Popsicle Patent

Fast forward to 1923, when Epperson decided to take his creation beyond his neighborhood. He set up shop at Neptune Beach, a popular amusement park. As the park thrived, so did the sales of Epsicles. Encouraged by this success, Epperson sought a patent in 1924 for his frozen treat, emphasizing its convenience for consumption without additional utensils. The patent not only showcased the frozen treat's design but also provided recommendations on the ideal wood for the stick.


Two-Stick Popsicles

In the late 1920s, Epperson sold the rights to his creation to the Joe Lowe Co., marking the Popsicle's ascent to national dessert stardom. As the Great Depression gripped the nation, a two-stick version of the Popsicle was introduced, priced at a sensible 5 cents. However, this move led to a legal showdown with Good Humor, which had recently launched its chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick. The compromise allowed Popsicle to continue selling water-based treats, while Good Humor handled the ice cream pops.

The Rise of Flavors

The 1930s and 40s saw the expansion of the Popsicle family with the introduction of two sub-brands — Creamsicle® in 1937 and Fudgsicle® in 1946. These new flavors were an instant hit and added variety to the already beloved lineup of fruit-flavored Popsicles.


The End of a Rivalry

In 1989, Unilever acquired the Popsicle brand, expanding its reach and flavor offerings. The same year, Unilever also acquired Good Humor, which put an end to the historic rivalry between the two frozen treat giants.

Frank Epperson's accidental invention has endured for more than a century, bringing joy to countless generations. From its humble beginnings as the Epsicle to becoming a household name, the Popsicle remains a freezer staple, with more than 2 billion sold every year. As you savor the cool sweetness on a hot summer day, remember that this delightful treat has a rich history rooted in a happy accident and the ingenuity of a young boy with a taste for the extraordinary.

Reference: How An 11-Year-Old Boy Invented The Popsicle

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