An ice pop or Popsicle is a liquid-based frozen snack on a stick. Unlike ice cream or sorbet, which are whipped while freezing to prevent ice crystal formation, an ice pop is “quiescently” frozen—frozen while at rest—and becomes a solid block of ice. The stick is used as a handle to hold it. Without a stick, the frozen product would be a freezie.
Francis William “Frank” Epperson (August 11, 1894, Willows, California – October 22, 1983, Fremont, California) of San Francisco, California, popularized ice pops after patenting the concept of “frozen ice on a stick” in 1923.
Epperson claimed to have first created an ice pop in 1905, at the age of 11, when he accidentally left a glass of powdered lemonade soda and water with a mixing stick in it on his porch during a cold night, a story still printed on the back of Popsicle treat boxes.
Epperson lived in Oakland and worked as a lemonade salesman.
In 1922, Epperson, a realtor with Realty Syndicate Company in Oakland, introduced the Popsicle at a fireman’s ball. The product got traction quickly; in 1923, at the age of 29, Epperson received a patent for his “Epsicle” ice pop, and by 1924, had patented all handled, frozen confections or ice lollipops. He officially debuted the Epsicle in seven fruit flavors at Neptune Beach amusement park, marketed as a “frozen lollipop,” or a “drink on a stick.”
A couple of years later, Epperson sold the rights to the invention and the Popsicle brand to the Joe Lowe Company in New York City.