Francis William "Frank" Epperson (August 11, 1894 – October 22, 1983) was the guy who invented the popsicle. He was granted US patent #1,505,592 on August 19, 1924, for "frozen confectionery". 1
Epperson originally called his creation the Ep-sicle. At some point his children convinced him to rename it the popsicle. He began selling it outside amusement parks like Idora Park and Neptune Beach in Alameda. At the time he worked selling property for the Realty Syndicate.
Unfortunately he had to sell his patent in 1929; "I was flat and had to liquidate all my assets." 2
It is not clear where he lived when he invented the popsicle. The family lived in San Francisco in 1905 when Epperson's story took place: he says he left a stick in a container of water in overnight in the backyard and it froze, and it gave him the idea. Regardless, he lived in Oakland when he received his patent in 1924, and lived here from 1906 until his retirement in 1968 when the family moved to Fremont.
Epperson also invented High-Dry, a powered drink mix, the forerunner of Kool-Aid and Tang. 3,4
Former Oakland residence
Frank Epperson lived in this Maxwell Park house at 3300 Kingsland Avenue (the corner of Madera and Kingsland Avenues) in 1940, according to census data.
Links and References
- popsicle on Wikipedia
- Invented in Oakland
- 1940 Census worksheet from Archives.com
- Invented in Oakland on Oakland North
Frank Epperson on FindAGrave.com
Frank Epperson, 89, Inventor Of Popsicle, Dies in California New York Times October 27, 1983
F.W. Epperson dies--invented Popsicle Oakland Tribune October 23, 1983
Popsicle's East Bay inventor foresaw joys of summer Oakland Tribune July 19, 1992