According to a report by Pamela Cyran and Chris Gaylord on CSMonitor, Frank Epperson, 11, from San Francisco, invented the ice lolly by accident in 1905.
They reported that Epperson made a fruit-flavoured soda drink out of powder and water – a popular concoction back then. However, one evening he never finished making the soda and left it outside overnight – with the stirring stick still in the cup.
Cyran and Gaylord said it was a cold night, and he discovered in the morning that the drink had frozen around the stick.
“At first, Epperson didn't realise what he had stumbled upon. Seventeen years later, he served the frozen lollipops to the public at a fireman’s ball. Surprisingly, no one else had come up with the idea yet. They were a huge hit. A year later, he enjoyed even more success after serving them at Neptune Beach, an amusement park in Alameda, California, which closed in 1939,” they reported.
Cyran and Gaylord also reported that Epperson called them “eppsicles”, but his children apparently didn’t like the name “eppsicle” and preferred “popsicles” which he agreed on, and the name has stuck ever since.