Vintage | Food

The Popular Frozen Treat Was Invented By An 11-Year Old In 1905

It's always interesting and a tad surprising to learn the history behind some foods we eat. I personally think that knowing the story explains a lot about why some foods are shaped, colored and taste a certain way.

This summer when you're beating the heat with a popsicle you should give some kudos to Frank Epperson of Oakland, California. In 1905, when he was just 11-years old, he got distracted while making a powdered soda mix, when he had returned the next morning to retrieve the drink he forgot outside, it was frozen with the stick still in it.

Since that day, Epperson's accidental creation known as "Eppsicles" became a hit among known his family and friends. In 1923, he filed for a patent and changed the name to Popsicles, as his children always referred to the the flavoured ice treats as "Pop's sicles."

Popsicles became an instant hit and gained popularity among kids and adults alike. According to history.com, in the early 1920s, about "8,000 Popsicles were sold in one day at Brooklyn’s Coney Island amusement park."

Unfortunately, Epperson was forced to sell the business to Joe Lowe Co. after the stock market crash in 1929. "I was flat and had to liquidate all my assets," he later said. "I haven't been the same since."

The cold treat was available in 7 flavours and sold for 5 cents each. The double Popsicle format later followed so 2 kids could share a pop for the price of one.

Unilever eventually bought the company in 1989 and trademarked the brand. Today, Popsicle® is available in more than 26 flavours in grocery stores around the world.

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