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[Tidbits] Frank Epperson


#1

Here’s the thing of it. The jewelry designer is sitting at his desk.
Perhaps he’s pondering away. Perhaps he’s doodling. The fact that
his name is Bulgari has nothing to do with this tidbit. The fact
that he’s one of our greats is neither important nor impressive in
this instance. What is astounding–in my mind–is his topic. Let me
go revisit the past.

The year is 1905. The place: San Francisco. An young eleven year old
boy by the name of Frank Epperson is mixing a white powdered
flavoring for soda and water out on his porch. What happens next is
the multi-million dollar accident of the century. Frank calls the
result the Epsicle. Here’s what happened.

Frank Epperson leaves the mixture on his porch overnight. with the
stirring stick still in it. That night the temperature dips to below
freezing and the next morning Frank finds that his drink has frozen
to his stick. He takes it out. He licks it. It’s delicious. In 1922
he introduces his frozen treat at a fireman’s ball. It’s a hit. By
1923 he is selling his frozen pop on a stick to the public at
Neptune Beach, California. In 1924 he applies for a patent. He
renames the Epsicle to Popsicle.

Wait wait. I’m still talking jewelry here. And Bulgari too.

The Popsicle is marketed as a “frozen drink on a stick.” Its form is
unique. A wooden stick going through the ice is the handle. Then
comes 1925 and Epperson sells the rights to the Joe Lowe Company of
New York. He was flat broke and had to liquidate his assets.

We stay in chronological order. It’s now 1939. Popsicle Pete comes
into creation. He is introduced on the Buck Rogers radio show as
having won The Typical American Boy contest. He tells one and all
they can win presents by sending in Popsicle wrappers. A dynasty is
born.

In 1989 Good Humor buys the rights. Frank Epperson is never the same
after he sells his Popsicle. The sale of his invention has
devastated his soul.

Then along comes Bulgari. He decides to go whimsical. He makes a
diamond, gem-set and gold Popsicle Brooch. Yes he does. It’s layers
are composed of mother-of-pearl, green chalcedony, rhodochrosite,
coral, and pav?-set diamond sections all mounted on an 18 karat gold
stick. It is a sight to behold.

Wanna see?

Go. Go take a look. You know where. tyler-adam.com. Lower left.
Click on Tidbits. Tell me what you think. Does it look good enough
to eat or what?

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.

Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark


#2

Hello Tyler, sent with humour

I really like your tidbits. I showed this one to my wife (the
Christine in Xtines Jewels) who has a collection of high/fine
jewellery.

She sold one piece to buy a house, when she moved back from England.

She said “Are you kidding, it looks like crap. Who would want to
wear that!”

This from a lady who made (30 years ago) fashion jewellery from
plastic toy leopards. Unique for its time.

I think it is a great idea for piece of whimsy, although very poorly
executed.

I guess in Australia we are used to the shape of paddle pops,
yum!!!

Richard
Xtines Jewels