a quiescently frozen confection
January 14, 2015 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Frank was just a boy in 1905 in Oakland, California, when one night he accidentally left a glass – filled with water, powdered soda mix and a wooden stick for stirring – outside overnight. When young Frank found the glass in the morning, the soda mixture was frozen solid, so he ran the glass under hot water and removed the ice pop using the stick as a handle. Frank knew he had a great idea on his hands, and he kept making the pops for his friends, and when he became an adult he made them for his own children. In 1923, Epperson filed for a patent for his invention. posted by bq (24 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
The 25-foot-tall, 17½-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for higher ground.

Crack Snapple Pop!
posted by hal9k at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


i have twin pops tattooed on the backs of my calves and they make me extremely happy
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


It gets below freezing in Oakland? Wikipedia lists the city's record low at 26F. Huh, I had no idea (and I work here).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well....maybe it does. And maybe that's a nice story and he really thought of it as a young adult living in Oregon.
posted by bq at 12:01 PM on January 14, 2015


Oh My God, they're called POPsicles because they're made of POP.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:10 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh My God, they're called POPsicles because they're made of POP.

Actually, the first link claims that it was his kids who called them that because they were made BY "Pop".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh - and the title has reminded me of one summer day when I was ten and noticed that phrase - "quiescently frozen confection" - on the side of the box, and wandered into the living room to look up "quiescent" in the dictionary and was so proud of myself for having actually looked something up all on my own that I didn't notice how close I was to dripping my popsicle on the carpet. (Caught it JUST in time.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:16 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Quiescently frozen" means only that it isn't stirred as it is frozen, unlike regular ice cream.
posted by bad grammar at 12:56 PM on January 14, 2015


Very punctilious of you.
posted by hal9k at 12:57 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey, now, I've always found "quiescent" a perfectly cromulent word to use in casual conversation
posted by TDavis at 1:00 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


in 1905 in Oakland.. when one night he accidentally left a glass – filled with water, powdered soda mix and a wooden stick for stirring – outside overnight

Sounds apocryphal (not only because Oakland rarely has a hard freeze). Many food origins are tied up in myths of someone accidentally doing something. And in this case given the money over patents, and thus motive to be the original inventor..
posted by stbalbach at 1:05 PM on January 14, 2015


Not knowing what 'powdered soda mix' was, the first sentence of this post had me thinking this was going to be about how a nine year-old started the 1905 Great Fire of Oakland.
posted by Flashman at 1:07 PM on January 14, 2015


Popsicle, Talking Heads.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:17 PM on January 14, 2015


Sounds apocryphal (not only because Oakland rarely has a hard freeze). Many food origins are tied up in myths of someone accidentally doing something. And in this case given the money over patents, and thus motive to be the original inventor..

Maybe if they agree to retract their statement they could then claim it was "acquiescently frozen"
posted by hal9k at 1:24 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


OAKTOWN!!!
posted by brundlefly at 1:45 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm with stbalbach, the story's apochryphal. The coldest it got in Oakland in 1905 was 33 degrees.
posted by Floydd at 1:59 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]




I'm with stbalbach, the story's apochryphal. The coldest it got in Oakland in 1905 was 33 degrees.

To be fair, within the city limits you can easily get a 10-degree difference (it's almost always about 10 degrees colder at the Redwood Road gate to Redwood Park than it is at my house).

But yeah, the coldest it ever gets here is enough to put a little black ice on the roads and frost on car windows. Freezing a cup full of liquid solid overnight? Highly unlikely.
posted by suelac at 2:47 PM on January 14, 2015


I'm always looking for yet another reason to convince people that Oakland is the greatest city in the world, but the outdoor invention of a frozen treat is just too much. Oakland is still the best though! (yeah, sorry all those people in that bar in NYC on New Year's Eve. I had a little too much, and the Oaktown love comes out reeeeeal strong then.)
posted by missmary6 at 3:09 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm with stbalbach, the story's apochryphal. The coldest it got in Oakland in 1905 was 33 degrees.

That's at one weather station (Wikipedia claims it was in downtown Oakland at the time). Oakland and Berkeley have dozens of microclimates, and you can have one area be warm and sunny while another's cold and foggy, raining, or windy.

The temperature at the weather station could be higher or lower than the temp in Epperson's neighborhood.

Though it would have to be an unusually cold day in the area to freeze a glass of water solid.
posted by zippy at 5:41 PM on January 14, 2015


Take It Break It Share It Love It
-courtesy of the Mad Men Rewatch over on Fanfare
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:45 PM on January 14, 2015


I'm with stbalbach, the story's apochryphal. The coldest it got in Oakland in 1905 was 33 degrees.

It got as cold as 30 in Berkeley in December 1905, so it's possible for Oakland to have a freezing night that year. Downtown Oakland is never the coldest part of the city because it's close enough to the Bay to be moderated by it; move up and in and things can get colder while still being in the city limits.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:12 PM on January 14, 2015


The third section of the agreement divided the market between Burt and Popsicle. In this section, the parties agreed that "this license applies only to Popsicles or frozen suckers, comprising a mass of flavored syrup, water ice or sherbet frozen on a stick, and that Licensor reserves unto himself all other rights . . . including the right to make frozen suckers from ice cream, frozen custard or the like." Similarly, both parties agreed to respect the patent rights of each other and that a cylindrical form of the frozen sucker was reserved to Popsicle while rectangular forms would be Burt's.

Wait, is this why popsicles and ice cream bars are different shapes? That's kind of awesome.

What's weird is that it never even occurred to me to wonder why they were different shapes before. Like, obviously popsicles are round. Duh.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:53 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The coldest it got in Oakland in 1905 was 33 degrees.

Oakland has 1500 feet of altitude variation. The weather station cited in that link is at 400 feet.

It gets way colder uphill. The low lying parts of Oakland will see hard freezes maybe every other winter, once or twice (this year is unusually warm). Uphill, it totally gets cold enough to freeze a glass of liquid overnight. More than once a year.

I'm with stbalbach, the story's apochryphal.

Of course it's apocryphal. America can't even get the origin of baseball right. Popsicles? No way we're getting that right.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:59 AM on January 15, 2015


« Older The Pitch   |   Broad Fucking City Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments