Guide to the Popsicle Advertising Campaign Collection, 1951-1958 and undated
The Popsicle was patented in 1923 by Frank Epperson, and sold to the Joe Lowe Company in 1925. Collection contains large and small format printed poster advertisements of Popsicle brand's line of frozen dessert products between 1951 and 1958, and documents Popsicle's marketing efforts during the last decade that the brand was owned by the Joe Lowe Company, prior to its purchase by Consolidated Foods (the brand is currently owned by Unilever). The posters depict promotional tie-ins with circuses as well as the Walt Disney Company; coupon offers; gift incentives for saving product wrappers; contests; and efforts to target children as consumers. Also includes memoranda sent to Popsicle salesmen during 1957-1958.
- Collection Number
- Popsicle Advertising Campaign collection
- 1951-1958 and undated
- Popsicle brand
- 5.8 Linear Feet, 210 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Collection contains large and small format printed poster advertisements of Popsicle brand's line of frozen dessert products between 1951 and 1958, and documents Popsicle's marketing efforts during the last decade that the brand was owned by the Joe Lowe Company, prior to its purchase by Consolidated Foods (the brand is currently owned by Unilever). The posters depict promotional tie-ins with circuses as well as the Walt Disney Company; coupon offers; gift incentives for saving product wrappers; contests; and efforts to target children as consumers. Also includes memoranda sent to Popsicle salesmen during 1957-1958.
Posters arrived in bound portfolios and scrapbooks. Portfolios and scrapbooks were disbound. Large format posters were grouped by type of campaign and organized alphabetically. Small format posters were grouped by year and arranged chronologically. Memoranda were boxed separately and organized by type of material and year and arranged alphabetically.
The collection is organized into two series, Memoranda and Posters. The Memoranda series includes materials related to “Selling Bee” salesmen incentive program, as well as schedules for publication of advertisements in U.S. newspapers. Some memos comment on the importance of selling a variety of flavors and the effectiveness of hanging marketing streamers in vendor windows.
The Posters series includes large and small format posters for Popsicle's line of products. Includes several large posters related to Popsicle marketing campaigns and several decals for window displays. Contains some posters related to Popsicle's marketing at circuses, as well as the 1954 collaboration with the Walt Disney Company. Also includes some competitive advertisements.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Popsicle Advertising Campaign Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Includes memoranda and flyers sent to Popsicle salesmen during the years 1957-1958, particularly relating to sales incentive programs and schedules of newspaper and television advertising.
Includes large and small format posters for Popsicle's line of products, including the Fudgesicle, Creamsicle, Dreamsicle, Bisicle, Sidewalk Sunday, Swift Bar, Ducky Dubble and sherbet. Includes several large posters related to Popsicle marketing campaigns, such as the “Popsi-Doodle” contest, the 1958 "Out of this World" outer space themed campaign, and advertising spots in the television programs The Lone Ranger, American Bandstand and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot. Also contains several decals for window displays. Contains some posters related to Popsicle's marketing at circuses, such as Ringling Brothers, as well as to the 1954 collaboration with Walt Disney, which resulted in Goofy, Dumbo and Donald Duck varieties of Popsicles. Includes some posters related to Popsicle's billboard campaigns and to the 1958 “Blue Chip” incentive plan. Also includes some competitive ads for Good Humor and Niftee.
The Popsicle was invented by accident when, at age 11, Frank Epperson left a cup of soda water with stirring stick outdoors during freezing temperatures. In adulthood, Epperson sold his frozen invention at fairs, and initially called it the “Epsicle.” His children referred it “Pop's sicle” and the product's name was subsequently changed to “Popsicle” .
In 1923, Epperson applied for a patent for “frozen ice on a stick.” In 1925, he sold the rights to his invention to the Joe Lowe Company of New York. At this point, the Lowe Company entered into an agreement with the Good Humor Company not to use either milk-based recipes, or rectangular designs, in order to minimize product competition. In 1932 the Good Humor Company sued Joe Lowe and Popsicle for infringing on this agreement, noting that Popsicle products had begun to encroach upon Good Humor's products in the shapes and amount of milk used.
Originally, popsicles were offered in seven different flavors. The “twin” Popsicle was invented during the Great Depression, an era in which the product's sales increased. During the 1950s, as freezers became more common in suburban households, the Popsicle multipack started to be sold in supermarkets. In 1965, Popsicle was purchased by Consolidated Foods Corporation and again in 1986 by the Gold Bond Ice Cream Company of Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1989 Unilever acquired Gold Bond, which owned both Breyers and Good Humor brands along with Popsicle; Unilever's ice cream division became known as Gold Bond-Good Humor. In 1993, this name changed to Good Humor-Breyers.
Sources: Unilever's Popsicle history page;
Related materials may be found in the following Hartman Center collections: the Duplex Advertising Company Records; the Garrett Orr Papers; the John F. Hogan Papers; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Poster Designs; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Slide Library; and the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements. Materials can also be found in the following collections of the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives: the Domestic Advertisements Collection; the International Advertisements Collection; and the John F. Devine Papers.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
- Joe Lowe Company (New York)
- Popsicle brand
- Unilever (Firm) -- History
- Walt Disney Company
- Advertising -- Posters
- Advertising and children -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Advertising and children -- United States
- Advertising -- United States -- History
- Frozen desserts industry
- Food -- Marketing
- Frozen desserts -- Marketing
- Food industry and trade -- United States
- Ice pops
- Ice pops -- History
The Popsicle Advertising Campaign Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in October 2008.
Processed by Jessica Wood, November 2008
Encoded by Jessica Wood, November 2008
Accession 2008-0027 is described in this finding aid.