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Invention of American Classic: The Popsicle

Updated on July 6, 2012


When I was growing up I used to practically live on Popsicles in the summer. Red was my favorite, except for the elusive grape Popsicle. I could find them in some stores that sold single Popsicles but never in a package. I still don’t know why they are not sold on their own, maybe they are not a favorite. But I really enjoyed them when I could find them. These days I prefer the banana or root beer flavors, but I still appreciate a grape one once in a while.

When I am writing this it is over 100 degrees outside and has been for a week, I am living in front of an air conditioner and remembering hot summers from when I was a kid, so I thought I would write the story of the Popsicle.

In 1905 Frank Epperson was 11 years old and he accidentally invented an American classic. He left a glass of lemonade on his windowsill with a spoon in it. It froze in the night air and Epperson knew he was onto something. However it wasn’t until 1923, when he was 29 that he patented his Eppsicle, fortunately he soon changed the name.



Epperson was working at a California amusement park when he perfected his invention and applied for a patent for the Eppsicle Ice Pop. The name was changed at the request of his children, who liked Popsicle better. There were 7 original favors; grape, watermelon, banana, orange, root beer, cherry and lemon.

Epperson described the freezing process as quiescently freezing. The pop liquid poured into molds which are washed with a brine solution, this makes them freeze very quickly.

Epperson quickly sold the rights to his invention and ultimately Good Humor became the final owners. Good Humor also has the right to Fudgesicles, Creamsicles (ice cream) and Dreamsicles (ice milk).

For a time Popsicle offered premium prizes for mailing in lots of empty wrappers. And these were not cheap little prizes either. In the episode of American Restoration they restore the train that was used as a giveaway in the 1950's.


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