Pop Goes Summer!
Ice pops are the perfect summer treat. But who invented them?
Frank Epperson and his granddaughter, Nancy, both loved Popsicles. Frank invented them!
What’s the perfect summer treat? It may just be the ice pop, or Popsicle. An ice pop is cold, refreshing, and a lot easier to make than ice cream. In fact, the very first ice pop was made by accident. And its inventor was 11 years old!
In 1905, a kid from San Francisco, California, named Frank Epperson decided to make himself a soft drink. Back then, soft drinks could be made by mixing a sugary powder with water. Epperson made the drink in a cup, mixing the ingredients together with a wooden stirring stick. At some point, he forgot about it and left it on his porch overnight.
The next morning, Epperson discovered that the liquid had frozen with the stirring stick inside. Using the stick as a handle, Epperson pulled the whole thing out of the cup and began to lick it. It was a delicious treat! Epperson named his invention the Epsicle. The name was a combination of his last name and the word icicle.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This drawing was part of Frank Epperson’s patent for his frozen treat.
In 1923, Epperson decided to get a patent for the Epsicle. (A patent is a paper from the government that say no one else is allowed to sell a product.) He started making the frozen treats in many different flavors, and his kids loved them. What they didn’t like was the name. Since they called their dad Pop, they called the treats “Popsicles.” And that’s the name we know today!
In 1925, Epperson sold his idea to a company that started selling Popsicles at outdoor amusement parks. Today, Popsicles are sold all over the place—even in grocery stores. People also make their own ice pops, just like Frank Epperson did, back in 1905.