Frank Epperson might not be a name with which you are familiar, but I bet you’ve heard of his invention. I bet you’ve even TASTED his invention!
A long time ago, back in 1905, that’s more than a hundred years ago, Frank accidentally invented the popsicle. Something else that might surprise you, was that when Frank invented the popsicle, he was still a kid!
Frank was 11 years old and lived in San Fransisco, California. One day, he had a cold drink he was enjoying. It was soda water, which is just fizzy water. He put some powder in it to give it flavor. He left it on the back porch of his house with a stirring stick in it. The weather turned cold that. When he found it in the morning, it was a frozen treat! He ran the outside of the glass under water, and it came out so he could eat it. The stick made a great handle. Frank called his invention an “ice lollipops” and later “The Epsicle.”
In 1922, when Frank was grown up, he went to a dance called a Fireman’s Ball. He served the “ice lollipops” at the party and they were a hit. Soon he was selling them on beaches and an amusement park. He bought a patent that said he owned the idea, and called them “Epsicle Ice Pops.” He made it in different fruit flavors with a wooden stick.
In 1924, Frank sold the patent to a big corporation, because he didn’t have much money. He sold it to The Joe Lowe Company, who turned the idea in to popsicles you are familiar with today: the fudgecicle, the twin popsicle, the creamsicle and the dreamsicle. You might have seen these on the ice cream truck in your neighborhood, and you might have tasted one. Which is your favorite?
There are other names for popsicles in other parts of the world. In Canada and the United States, they are called popsicles. In Ireland, they are a freeze pop. In Mexico they are paletas, In the United Kingdom they are called an ice lolly.
Some people like to make their own popsicles at home. You need popsicles molds or small paper cups, juice, and sticks. You can even add fruit! Pour the liquid into the cups, place in the sticks or the molds, and freeze for 4-6 hours. You will have your own popsicle, just like Frank. What flavor would you choose?
Bonus Fact 1. Cherry popsicles are the number one favorite flavor.
Bonus Fact 2 Nobody knows the world popsicle came from. Some people think it’s a mix between lollipop and icicle.
Bonus Fact 3: When a popsicle does not have a stick, it is called, among other names, a freezie.