Popsicles were reportedly invented by an 11-year-old.
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Popsicles were reportedly invented by an 11-year-old.

A dessert accidentally created by a California kid has managed to stick around for over a century. One frigid night in the San Francisco Bay Area, young Frank Epperson took a glass of water and mixed in a sweet powdered flavoring using a wooden stirrer. He left the concoction on his family’s back porch overnight, and by morning, the contents had frozen solid. Epperson ran hot water over the glass and used the stirrer as a handle to free his new creation. He immediately knew he’d stumbled on something special, and called his treat an Epsicle, a portmanteau of his last name and “icicle.” Throughout his life, Epperson claimed that this experiment occurred in 1905, when he was 11 years old. While most publications agree, the San Francisco Chronicle’s website counters that local temperatures never reached freezing in 1905; they did, however, in nearby Oakland, where the Epperson family moved around 1907, meaning the fateful event may have happened a few years later. 

Clint Eastwood once reversed a ban on ice cream cones in a small California town.
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It's a Fact
In the summer of 1985, Carmel, California, banned ice cream cones to prevent customers from dripping on the streets. While running for mayor the following year, future Oscar winner Clint Eastwood promised to reverse the ordinance. Once elected, he made good on the promise.

In 1922, after Epperson had married and started working in real estate, he brought his frozen treat — which had since become beloved by friends and neighbors — to the Fireman’s Ball at Neptune Beach amusement park. It was a hit. Within two years, he had patented his ice pop on a wooden stick. Around the same time he began referring to his desserts as “popsicles” (a play on his children’s term for their father’s creation, “pop’s sicle”), but the word was absent from his patent, and a Popsicle Corporation quickly established itself elsewhere. “I should have protected the name,” Epperson later confessed. Although he briefly set up a royalty arrangement with the Popsicle Corporation, by 1925 he sold his patent rights to the Joe Lowe Company, which became the exclusive sales agent for the Popsicle Corporation. Over the decades, Epperson’s naming oversight cost him considerable profits. As of 2020, the global ice pop market was valued at $4.7 billion. A significant share of that revenue comes from Popsicles, a summer staple now sold in more than 30 flavors.

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Numbers Don’t Lie
Estimated number of Popsicles purchased globally each year
2 billion
Weight (in pounds) of the largest ice pop ever created
Total Popsicle sticks in the world's biggest Popsicle stick sculpture (a map of Thailand)
Year Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” became the first rap/hip-hop song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart
The bestselling Popsicle flavor is _______.
The bestselling Popsicle flavor is cherry.
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Think Twice
In 2021, a 4-year-old boy ordered $2,618.85 worth of SpongeBob Popsicles online.

One afternoon in May 2021, after completing some remote learning, Noah Ruiz of Brooklyn used his mom’s laptop and Amazon Prime account to purchase 918 SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired Popsicles. The Prime account was shared with his aunt, and Noah (accidentally or deliberately) sent the 210-pound delivery of 51 cases to her house. There were so many Popsicles that only a fraction could fit in the family’s freezer, and many of them melted. As a graduate student in social work raising three sons, Ruiz’s mom, Jennifer Bryant, panicked at the sudden expense — especially when Amazon refused to accept a refund. After confiding to classmates about her predicament, a fellow student received her permission to set up a GoFundMe page to help her recoup the money. Donors needed just 24 hours to cover the cost of the spending spree. By the end of the fundraiser, more than $25,000 had been raised. Noah Ruiz has autism spectrum disorder, and the surplus will be dedicated to his education. Amazon also made a $2,618.85 gift to Autism Speaks on the family’s behalf. 

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