Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Happy Accident

It's National Grape Popsicle Day! And to think, if not for the forgetfulness of one 11-year-old boy, we wouldn't have anything to celebrate today...

Back in 1905, young Frank Epperson was outside on the porch, enjoying a refreshing fruit-flavored soda. But, it wasn't like the soda we know today. In those days, you poured soda water powder in water, stirred, and viola! Instant tasty drink. So, Frank was enjoying his soda, and for whatever reason, didn't finish it, and forgot to bring it with him when he went inside. There it sat. On the porch. All night. With the stirring stick still in it.

That night brought record low temperatures, and when he found his soda the next morning, the drink was frozen to the stick. Boys will be boys, and instead of taking it inside to clean it up, he tasted it. It was good! The story goes then that he took it to school to show his pals, and made them for his friends. He called them Epsicles.

It didn't occur to him to patent his frozen treat until 1923, as he sold seven flavors of Epsicles at a lemonade stand at an amusement park in Oakland, California. His patent was granted in 1924, and the name was changed to the familiar Popsicle we know today. (It seems his kids gave him the idea, as they were always asking for "Pop's 'sicles.")

There are now over 30 different varieties and flavors of Popsicles, and an estimated 3 million of these frozen treats are sold each year. (My household contributes significantly to this total - in every season!)

Now you're craving one, aren't you? Go ahead - buy yourself a grape Popsicle, go outside, sit on the curb (because, as everyone knows, a Popsicle is best enjoyed while sitting on the curb), and, well... enjoy. 

And if anyone asks why a grown adult would chow down on something that never fails to turn one's lips a brilliant shade of purple, tell them you're celebrating a national holiday. 

Or, you could just say, "Hey! It's hot out here, alright?"

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My Popsicle history sources (in case anyone's interested):

1 comment:

  1. What a cute story. I love this type of "Jeopardy" trivia-fun to know but will probably never come up again unless I want to tell it at dinner parties...assuming I was ever invited to one....well, one that didn't serve mac and cheese and weenies anyway!

    However, my brain is so full of this type of knowledge, that is probably why I can't remember the important stuff like where my car keys or cell phone are. lol But it doesn't stop me from taking it in anyway. :)


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