Popsicle® believes kids have the greatest imaginations and the best ideas. Maybe that is because Popsicles were invented by a kid! Learn about the history of Popsicle® and maybe you’ll be inspired to invent the next great dessert!
1905: A Happy Accident & Instant Favorite
Eleven-year-old Frank Epperson invented the very first Popsicle® ice pop in the San Francisco Bay Area way back in 1905. That’s right, we weren’t joking, Popsicle® was invented by a kid!
After a long day of play, Frank went inside, but left his cup of soda with the stirring stick still in it out on his porch. Left out overnight, the soda froze like an icicle! Curious, Frank gave the frozen soda a try - and whoa! popsicles were created.
Frank named his invention the “Epsicle” and it quickly became his favorite treat. It was also a hit with all the kids in the neighborhood!
1923 - The Popsicle® Patent
Frank decided to take his delicious “Epsicles” outside of the neighborhood and sell them at Neptune Beach. Dubbed a "West Coast Coney Island," Neptune flourished in the pre-Depression days, and consumers loved Frank’s Epsicles.
With a dessert hit on his hands, Frank patented the “Epsicle” in 1924 to share his ice pops with the world! His patent illustrates the requirements for a perfect ice pop, including recommendations on the best wood for the stick: wood-bass, birch, or poplar. Eventually, Frank's children would urge him to change the ice pop's name to what they called it: a Pop's 'Sicle, or Popsicle®.
Late 1920s - Two-Stick Popsicles®
In the late 1920s, Frank sold the rights to his creation to the Joe Lowe Co., catapulting the Popsicle® to dessert stardom nationwide!
As the Great Depression began to take its toll, the company debuted a two-stick version of the Popsicle to help consumers stretch their dollar — the duo sold for 5 cents. However, this delicious duo soon faced competition from Good Humor, which recently debuted its own chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick and sued Lowe for copyright infringement. The court's compromise? Popsicle® could sell water-based treats and Good Humor could sell ice cream pops.
1937 - A New Popsicle® Flavor
Popsicle® launched an instant sensation – it's Creamsicle pop!
1946 - Popsicle®’s First Chocolate-Based Pop
For the first time, Popsicle adds a new offering outside of their usual water ice realm – the Fudgsicle®, Popsicle’s first chocolate-based pop. Fudgsicle remains one of Popsicle’s highest selling products to this day!
1989 - An End to 60+ Year Rivalry
Unilever scooped up the Popsicle® brand in 1989, expanding the brand beyond its original fruity flavors. Unilever also went on to buy Good Humor, putting an end to the feud between the two icy competitors.
2023 - A Kid’s Invention Created 100+ Year Dessert Sensation
Frank Epperson’s childhood invention that was created by accident on a freezing night continues to be a kid’s favorite and parent-approved dessert for more than 100 years! With over 2 billion Popsicles® sold every year, Popsicle® is a freezer staple. From our classic flavors to SpongeBob Popsicle® and Firecracker Popsicle®, we’ve got everyone’s favorites!