Beat the Heat with a Cool Treat

I don’t know about where you are, but Washington, D.C., has been in the middle of a heat wave. Temps were in the 100s this weekend (105 to be exact). Washingtonians have been staying inside to bask in air conditioning, heading to the nearest body of cool water for a dip, and otherwise trying to avoid heat stroke.

One of the more fun ways to cool down is by enjoying a cold treat. Here are three frozen treats (and their invention stories) to beat the heat:

  • Eskimo Pies. Christian K. Nelson invented the ice cream bar covered in a chocolate candy coating in 1920 after being inspired by a young customer at his confectionery storewho couldn’t decide between buying a chocolate bar or an ice cream. In 1921, Nelson partnered with chocolate maker Russel C. Stover and the Eskimo Pie received U.S. Patent #1,404,539 on January, 24, 1922.

    Image from the Eskimo Pie Corporation Records, 1921-1996, Archives Center, NMAH.

  • Popsicles. The invention of the popsicle, like so many other items, was an accident. Eleven-year-old Frank Epperson left a soft drink overnight on his San Francisco porch in 1905. The next morning he discovered the mixture frozen solid around the stirring stick. Epperson didn’t apply for a patent until 1923, and, though he later sold the rights to the Popsicle, inspired the Fudgsicle, Creamsicle, and Dreamsicle.
  • Frozen Margarita. In 1971, Mariano Martinez, inspired by a Slurpee machine, adapted a soft serve ice cream machine to meet the demand for the popular adult frozen beverage at his Dallas restaurant. Though the machine was never patented, the original machine now resides in the collections of the National Museum of American History.

How are you beating the heat this summer?

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