How Popsicles became POPSICLES® - Ice Cream Nostalgia

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I've been off on a retro ice cream treat jag this week, all instigated by a rare visit by an ice cream truck driving down my street last week. Yesterday I was musing over Bomb Pops, Astro Pops and the Atomic Age and I've created several Ice Cream Martinis over at The Martini Diva based on some of my favorite frozen treats of the past. (Yesterday I posted the Banana Fudgesicle Martini - I absolutely LOVED Banana Fudgesicles and you can't get them anymore so a martini was a must on that one!)

It got me to wondering about how Popsicles came into being. They're such a simple concept but sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones with the most complicated histories. Not in the case of the Popsicle - it's beginnings were quite simple and humble for such an iconic part of our childhood.

Like many other things in existence, "Popsicles" were invented in 1906 by mistake. A young eleven year old boy named Frank Epperson left a glass of soda powder and water with a mixing stick in it outside overnight and the temperature dropped below freezing. When he awoke the next morning he discovered his soda had turned into a soda flavored icicle with a stick in it. He ran water over the glass to loosen it, tasted the frozen mixture and the Popsicle was born!

Originally he called his discovery the "Epsicle" but his kids just called it "Pop's Icle" as in "pop's icicle". Epperson patented his discovery as the "Popsicle®" and began selling them to the public in 1922. Epperson collaborated with the Joe Lowe Company to bring the treat to the public in movie houses and amusement parks and they formed the original Popsicle Company in 1923.

Epperson obtained a patent on the Popsicle® in 1924 and immediately sold it to a totally new Popsicle Corporation of the United States which set out marketing the frozen treat as "a drink on a stick"and turned it into the pop culture food icon it has become today.

Here in America the name "popsicle" has become identified with almost all frozen confections on a stick but if you live in Britain you might call them an "ice lolly" and in Australia an "ice pole". Popsicle has a much nicer ring, don't you think?

Some Fun Popsicle® Facts:
  • Cherry Popsicles® are the most popular (they're my favorite!)
  • The Popsicle® stick is made from birch.
  • The very first Popsicle® Ice Cream Truck was actually a horse drawn cart!
  • The "twin" Popsicle® was invented during The Great Depression so two kids could share one five cent treat.
Enjoy some retro ice cream fun & nostalgia with my Ice Cream Inspired Martinis:
The POP-A-TINI (inspired by the Firecracker Popsicle)

More on the history of the Popsicle and "popsicles" at the National Archives:
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