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10 of History's Happiest Accidents


5
Popsicles
It seems appropriate that a popular kids' treat like Popsicles was invented by a boy who accidentally left a soda drink outside in the winter. CLM Images/Moment/Thinkstock
It seems appropriate that a popular kids' treat like Popsicles was invented by a boy who accidentally left a soda drink outside in the winter. CLM Images/Moment/Thinkstock

The concept of a Popsicle — a frozen, sugary treat on a stick — seems so simple that a kid could have invented it. In fact, that's exactly what happened. Back in the winter of 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a glass of fruit-flavored powdered soda mixed with water out on his porch overnight with a stirring stick in it. The next morning, out popped the world's first Popsicle.

Epperson didn't start selling his accidental invention until 18 years later when he prepared his frozen treat for a fireman's ball in his hometown of San Francisco. The crowd loved it, and Epperson quit his day job as a real estate agent to patent and sell his world-famous Epsicles [source: Cyran and Gaylord]. Yes, that was the original name, until his children — who always called them "pop's 'sicles" — convinced him to change it [source: Popsicle]. Good work, kids.


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