Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Popsicle is a brand name for the frozen novelty known elsewhere as the ice lolly, freezer pop, or ice block. It has generic status in the United States. In a legend disclaimed by the inventor himself, the original Popsicle is said to have appeared in 1905 when eleven-year-old Frank Epperson left a glass containing water, powdered soda mix, and a stick outside overnight, only to discover it frozen the next morning. Epperson began selling Popsicles to the public in 1923, but he quickly sold his rights to the new product and its production process. By 1925 the Joe Lowe Company of New York was marketing the patented Popsicle throughout the United States. This novelty—composed of water, sugar, corn syrup, stabilizers, and artificial flavor and color, and frozen on a birch-wood stick—gained instant popularity due to its low price, bright colors, and convenience. Popsicles have typically figured among the frozen treats sold from ice-cream carts and trucks, and the Eighth Air Force of the United States declared Popsicles a symbol of American life during World War II.