A rather terrifying letter recently burst the bubble of good vibes that has surrounded our shop since we opened.
"This law firm acts as outside trademark counsel to Unilever Supply Chain, Inc., and its affiliates ('Unilever')," it said. "Because POPSICLE® is Unilever's registered trademark Unilever must request that you replace all of the references to 'popsicle' and 'popsicles' ... with proper generic terminology such as 'ice pop(s).' We ask that you please provide us with written confirmation of your compliance with the foregoing by Friday, May 7, 2010."
Here's the story of POPSICLE®.
In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson fixed himself some powdered soda and water and left the container outside with the stirring stick still in it. On that unusually cold night in San Francisco, the mixture froze, and the first-ever "Epsicle" was born. Eighteen years later, in Alameda, Epperson started selling "The Frozen Drink on a Stick!" at Neptune Beach. He applied for a patent a year later and sold the rights to what he now called "Popsicles" another year later (1925), to the Joe Lowe Company in New York. Over time, they became so iconic that during World War II the Eighth Air Force Unit chose them as the symbol of American life. Over the last 85 years, the horse-drawn cart that sold POPSICLES® to schoolchildren in Nebraska (also carrying the first ice-cream man!) has morphed into a veritable fleet of trucks that cover the land selling water, high fructose corn syrup, gums, colorants, and preservatives to people young and old all over the country.