Summer is by far my favorite season. I am a sun goddess, so you won’t catch me complaining about the heat, or sitting in an air conditioned home. I am outside as much as I can, covered head-to-toe in SPF 50 of course, even during record heat waves. Besides loving the heat, I love all of the food and activities that go along with warm weather. Frisbee, ice cream, swimming, these are staples of summer, but do you actually know the history behind these things? Here are some fun summer facts that might just surprise you.
- Did you know that watermelon is actually a vegetable not a fruit? It is most closely related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash, and is from the botanical family Cucurbitaceae.
- In 1905, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson invented the first popsicle. He created it completely by accident. Frank accidentally left a mixture of powdered soda and water, with a stirring stick, on his porch. He awoke the next morning and found a frozen pop! He first named his frozen pop an “Epsicle”, but when he got older his kids asked for “Pop’s” sicle and the new name was born.
- The average American eats around 5 1/2 gallons of ice cream a year, more than any other nationality. The late President Reagan declared July National Ice Cream month. It is also the month the most ice cream is sold.
- The frisbee was originally designed as a tin pie plate in the 1870’s. It was a marketing scheme to encourage homemakers to see the name “Frisbee” on the pie tin and think how much easier it would be to buy a pie instead of making one. Eventually, Mr. Frisbee’s pies were sold all over Connecticut. In the 1940’s, Yale students began tossing the pie tins to one another in a game of catch. The game caught on throughout the campus. About 10 years later, the president of Wham-O saw the pie-tin tossing fun at Yale. He saw this as a toy he could easily market. There were issues with the tin, so the plastic disc was born. Because of the craze of UFOs during this time, the plastic disc quickly became known as a “flying saucer”.
- The first “bathing suits” for women were introduced in the early 1800’s. At that time it was still considered improper for skin to be any color but creamy white. The first “suits” were composed of long sleeved bathing dresses with woolen bloomers underneath to weight the dress down. The only “swimming” a woman did at that time was to jump waves at the edge of the water and dip her feet, and occasionally legs, into the water.