March 04, 2005

*History of the sucker

The lollipop probably has a long, dignified history. Unfortunately, I can’t get interested in it, so we’ll try and pick up the pace.

How hard could it be to invent a lollipop? If we’re just talking about adding the stick, I’m sure the cavemen did it with hunks of animal meat. Gopher Pops. Armadillo Pops. Carrion Pops. I’m sure there was a long list of pops.

In medieval times there were probably Mutton Pops.

But the first mention of a modern lollipop was during the Victorian period. Charles Dickens and other writers referred to a sweet lozenge without a stick in some stories. The stick was not far behind (no reference to D.L. Lawrence implied).

In 1908, George Smith claimed to be the first to invent the modern lollipop. Smith had the idea of putting hard candies on a stick to make them easier to eat. He decided to name the treat after his favorite racing horse, Lolly Pop, and later trademarked the name. Lollipops were successful until the Depression. Smith stopped production on lollipops and the name fell into public domain.

During the depression, lollipops fell out of favor due to economic concerns. Here we see a backslide into the Gopher Pops and Opossum Pops.

Once the economy recovered, some geezer in San Francisco patented the first lollipop making machine. The invention simply inserted the stick. Believe it or not, the inventors name was “Born” and the machine was called the “Born Sucker Machine.” I am not making this up. I suppose it produced one every minute.


Posted by Paul! at March 4, 2005 01:35 PM


One of my favorite expressions in Norwegian is the word(s) for lollipop which translates into English as: Love on a Stick.

Posted by: Random Penseur at March 4, 2005 03:28 PM

Well seeing a woman enjoying a lollipop DOES bring certain thoughts to mind, and not all of them clean.

I want my Opposum on a stick with extra mud.

Posted by: Oorgo at March 4, 2005 04:39 PM

Mutton comes with its own stick.

Posted by: Jim at March 4, 2005 05:38 PM

Growing up on cape cod, us kids invented lots of pops using sea creatures. Squid pops, sand shark pops, seaweed pops,
dead seagull pops, canadian tourist looking for the Kennedy compound pops.
I have especially fond memories of feeding jellyfish pops to my brother. My brother did not like his lollipop dipped in beach sand.

Posted by: Brian at March 5, 2005 07:42 PM

Hey Paul!,
So you've added the exclamation point to your name, eh? Mr. I-write-on-more-than-one-site.

Next you'll be naming yourself some odd and unpronouncable symbol, only it'll have to be from the keyboard since you're a blogger.

Then I can start calling you the blogger formerly known as Paul! formerly known as Paul.

Lend me money.

Posted by: Ted at March 6, 2005 08:38 AM

Actually, I added the exclamation point. There is already a Munuvian named Paul. Plus, it's just so darn exciting to have Paul blogging here.

Posted by: Jennifer at March 6, 2005 12:54 PM

it's just so darn exciting to have Paul blogging here.

I guess everyone's entitled to their opinion...

Posted by: Victor and his seventeen pet rats at March 7, 2005 01:18 PM