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The History of Popsicles

A Chilly Accident Leads to a Sweet Creation

The story of the popsicle begins with an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson in 1905. Frank accidentally left a cup of soda powder mixed with water and a stirring stick on his porch one cold night in Oakland, California. The next morning, he discovered that his concoction had frozen solid; with that, the first popsicle was born right in the Bay Area.

Chocolate popsicle held by woman's hand in front of green background

From Epsicle to Popsicle®

Initially, Frank called his frozen treat the "Epsicle," a blend of his name and the word "icicle." He started selling them around his neighborhood and at a nearby amusement park, Neptune Beach, in Alameda. The refreshing frozen confections quickly became popular among children and adults alike.

Growing Popularity and the Birth of a Brand

Frank continued to sell his Epsicles, which evolved into a family favorite at summer events like the local fireman’s ball. In 1923, realizing the potential of his frozen treat, Frank Epperson applied for a patent for his "frozen confectionery" on a stick. He renamed it to "Popsicle," a more catchy and marketable brand name.

Young girl holding yellow popsicle

Commercial Success and Expansion

The Popsicle brand began to gain traction, especially during the hot summer days. The Joe Lowe Company in New York saw the potential and bought the rights to the Popsicle in 1925. Under their management, the Popsicle brand exploded in popularity, with new flavors and variations like the Creamsicle cream pop and double-stick Popsicle debuting.

Surviving The Great Depression

During the Great Depression, Popsicles became an affordable treat for many families. The brand's innovative marketing and low cost made it a staple of American summertime. The introduction of the double-stick Popsicle, which could be split and shared, further solidified its place as a beloved frozen treat during tough economic times.

Red, white and blue rocket popsicle on grey background

The Popsicle Brand Today

Today, the Popsicle brand is owned by Unilever®, a global company that continues expand the line of frozen treats. With over two billion Popsicles sold each year, the brand remains a favorite among children and adults. The origin story of the Popsicle, from a simple accidental discovery by Frank Epperson to a globally recognized brand, is a testament to the enduring appeal of this delightful frozen confection.

Woman's hand holding a light yellow popsicle in front of greenery

A Legacy of Sweet Memories

The history of the Popsicle is not just about a frozen treat; it's about the joy and nostalgia it brings. From the amusement parks of San Francisco to the bustling streets of New York, Popsicles have been a part of countless summertime memories.

Man's hand holding a chocolate covered pop with nuts in front of water

Fun Facts and Innovations

The Popsicle has seen many changes over the years. In addition to the original stick Popsicle, the brand has introduced variations like the Creamsicle and Fudgsicle. These innovations keep the brand fresh and exciting, appealing to new generations of Popsicle lovers.

In the 1980s, Popsicle partnered with Good Humor, another iconic name in the frozen treat industry, further cementing its place in American culture. The partnership brought about new marketing strategies and expanded the reach of Popsicle products.

Frozen popsicles in a large tub with ice

A Sweet Conclusion

From its humble beginnings on a cold night in Oakland, the Popsicle has become a beloved treat around the world. The simple pleasure of enjoying a Popsicle on a hot day is a universal experience, one that continues to bring smiles to faces of all ages. The next time you enjoy a frosty pop, remember the story of Frank Epperson and his accidental invention that has become a symbol of summertime joy.


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