Monday, August 18, 2014

One Cool-Thinking Kid

Hot summer days have often left us wanting something to partake of that would cool us off and slow us down to enjoy the lazy passing of time.  That's not something new to us or our generations.  It's been going on since the beginning of time, I'm sure.

Wealthy Romans would have ice carted from the mountains down to the villages, and the ice would be mixed with fruit bits and fruit juice to give them a form of snow cone.  History tells us they weren't alone.  Similar practices were showing up in China, India, and the Arabian peninsula.  And as we can all attest, these shaved ice confections can sure hit the spot.

But it wasn't until 1905 in San Francisco, California, that an accidental discovery lead to a treat still popular today with kids of all ages.  Eleven year old Frank Epperson had some powdered soda mixed up, using a wooden stick to stir the concoction.  He left some of the stuff out on the porch overnight.  When he arose the next morning, there was his treat, still there, but now frozen onto the stick. 

Now Frank wasn't a dense lad.  The next summer he was selling his treat to the neighborhood kids.  But it wasn't until 1923 at the Neptune Beach amusement park in Alameda, California, that he had a good commercial business going.  The next year he applied for and got a patent for his Episicle, which soon were a big hit.  He soon changed the name of the treat to "Popsicle," and it is still widely eaten by folks everywhere.

Frank didn't enjoy the profits from his "invention" long, however.  In 1925 he sold his patent to another company to pay off creditors.  The Popsicle today is still the Popsicle, although the varieties have grown in number and taste.  But it still hits the spot on a hot summer day when you need something light and refreshing to consume while relaxing, indoors or out.  I don't know that Frank invented anything else,, but he did leave us all a cool taste treat we can eat just about any time of year, 

Thanks, Frank.

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