Basic Science

How the popsicle was invented | Moments of Vision 11

In a Moment of Vision… It’s 1905, Northern California. Frank Epperson is eleven years old. He’s sitting on his front porch making a sort of DIY drink that’s very popular at this time. He has just poured a sugary soda powder into a glass of water and is mixing enthusiastically with a wooden stir stick.

We don’t know exactly how the next 24 hours play out, but we can imagine that something catches Frank’s attention and he abandons his drink mid-stir. After a cold Bay Area night, Frank rediscovers his mix drink the next morning. It’s frozen solid. But instead of throwing it out, Frank pulls the icy block of soda out of the glass by the embedded stir stick and, in a moment of vision, licks it.

Delighted by his invention, Frank begins making the frozen treat for friends, and as he grows older, begins selling them as Eppsicles, a contraction of his last name and the word icicle. It is rumored that later, Frank’s own kids dubbed the icy delicacy Pop’s ‘cicle. Others claim the name is a combination of lollipop and icicle. Regardless where the name comes from, the popsicle is here to stay. Approximately 2 billion popsicles are sold each year.

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