Mountains are a great natural source for ice, and ancient peoples from Egypt and Rome would gather snow and bring it down to enjoy cool treats mixed with fruit, spiced syrups and wine. Delish! But lots of work too! Usually the rich folks would enjoy their ices and slushes, having their slaves and servants head up the slopes to do the gathering.
Kublai Khan served Marco Polo sorbets and ices when he traveled to the Khan's Chinese court. Iced treats were served by Thomas Jefferson while entertaining at Monticello in the States. These iced treat were not the actual inspiration for popsicles though!
Let's head back to Oakland, California, in 1905. An eleven year old boy, Frank Epperson, was mixing up a glass of powdered soda mix in water, started stirring it with a stick, and ended up leaving it - overnight. The night was cold enough to freeze the mixture in the glass, and when young Epperson discovered it the next morning he decided he was going to try out his accident, ran the glass under hot water to loosen the frozen soda and used the stick to pull the treat out. He realized he had come across a great idea, and started making this frozen treat for his friends. He called it the Epsicle!
As Epperson grew up, he realized he could expand sales past his neighbourhood, and headed over to sell the Epsicle at a nearby amusement park, Neptune Beach. This proved to be very successful, encouraging him in 1924 to apply for a patent for his "frozen confection of attractive appearance, which can be conveniently consumed without contamination by contact with the hand and without the need for a plate, spoon, fork or other implement". The patent even recommends the best wood to use for the stick - birch or poplar woods.
With these frozen treats being called Epsicles, where did the Pop come from? Epperson's children - because he after is "Pop" and they called them "Pop's 'Sicles". What a wonderful reason to change the name, and it's obviously stuck!
As what happens to many ingenious inventors is they do not financially benefit from their own creations. This happened to to Epperson, where he sold his patent to the Lowe Co. at some point in the 1920s. The Lowe Co. took the popsicle to Americans across the country, and even created the now, very familiar, double popsicle with two sticks. This arrived in time for the Great Depression, where two children could enjoy sharing the treat that they were able to get for the price (or close to) of one!
Popsicles remain very popular to this day, with over 2 billion sold each year.
You can make your own iced pops with variuos molds that we have available here at the store, come visit and check them out!