When summer is here and you’re looking for a quick way to cool down, the first thing you think of is getting an ice cold treat. But did you ever wonder who invented the first popsicle?
The first popsicle was actually invented by a minor. The 11-year old boy left a glass of soda with a stirrer in the freezing cold. The next morning, it was frozen solid. He then turned it into a little business venture during the great depression.
Was the Popsicle the First Frozen Treat?
To be honest, cold treats have been around for centuries. Ancient Romans would send their slaves to the mountains to collect blocks of ice. These blocks would then be crushed and served with spice syrups or fruit.
There also has been documentation of the famous Marco Polo enjoying sorbets when he travelled to Asia to visit Kublai Khan. Thomas Jefferson was also known to enjoy icy treats that had his helpers serve sorbets to his visitors. (Source: History)
Who Is the Boy That Invented the Popsicle?
By 1905, in Oakland, California, a boy by the name of Francis William “Frank” Epperson had an epiphany. He accidentally left a glass soda with a wooden stick outside overnight in the freezing cold. The next morning, he found the soda to be frozen solid. Epperson then ran the glass under warm water, and was able to extract the ice pop by using the stick as a handle.
He knew he had stumbled onto something extraordinary that he started making these icy treats for his friends. He continued on making these treats up until he had his own kids. (Source: History)
Did Epperson Turn His Discovery Into a Business?
Epperson filed for a patent in 1923. Up until that time, he had named his treats Eppsicles, but his children kept calling them Pop’s sicles. We all know which name stuck. The popsicle was such a hit that bigger names wanted to partner with Epperson. Joe Lowe Co. partnered with him and started distributing the popsicles to amusement parks and other entertainment sites. (Source: History)
How Much Did the First Popsicle Cost?
The first batch of popsicles sold for just 5 cents a piece. They came in seven flavors including the original root beer.
After a few years from its debut, the twin popsicles were introduced. This was during the Great Depression, and Epperson thought it would be great for hungry children to be able share their treats. The twin popsicles were sold for the price of one. (Source: History)
What were the First Flavors of the Popsicle?
It is speculated that the first set of popsicles came in seven flavors; these were root beer, cherry, lemon, orange, banana, grape, and watermelon. However, there is no official documentation of this. One thing is for sure, the cherry flavored popsicle is the most popular and is the number 1 selling flavor until today. (Source: History)
Who Owns the Rights to the Popsicle Brand?
After Epperson got the patent and partnered with the Joe Lowe Co. he liquidated his assets and sold his rights in 1925.
I was flat and had to liquidate all my assets. I haven’t been the same since.Francis William Epperson
In 1989, Good Home, which is now a subsidiary of Unilever purchased the rights to the Popsicle. (Source: Country Living)