National Edy's Pie Patent Day
(Also known as National Eskimo Pie Patent Day (until 2020))
National Edy's Pie Patent Day is observed next on Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 (114 days from today).
National Edy's Pie Patent Day, also known as National Eskimo Pie Patent Day, is annually observed on January 24th.
History of National Edy's Pie Patent Day
This day celebrates the patenting of Edy's Pie (formerly Eskimo Pie), billed as America's first chocolate-covered ice cream bar. In 1920, a young boy went to Christian Kent Nelson's sweets and candy store. He ordered ice cream, but then changed it to chocolate. Nelson asked him why he didn't order both, and the boy said it was because he couldn't afford it - he only had one nickel. Nelson did some research to figure out how to melt the chocolate onto the ice cream in such a way that it adhered to it, and he found that using melted cocoa butter worked best. He called his bars "I-Scream Bars," and after they celebrated at a firefighter's picnic in the village, he began looking for companies that made them. He partnered with Russell C. Stover, and they made an agreement in which they split the profits. At Stover's insistence, it was changed to Eskimo Pie, a name evoking the cold north and the natives who lived there; some people today consider the name culturally insensitive. The official name was changed to Edy's Pie in 2020.
On January 24, 1922, Nelson received a patent for his confectionery. The patent is very broad and covers the idea of frosting bars in general, rather than focusing narrowly on the formulation of his coating. After that, the name "Eskimo Pie" was also trademarked. The confectionery rights were sold to local ice cream companies for between $500 and $1000, and royalties were guaranteed for each Eskimo Pie sold. The company quickly made $2000 a day in royalties, and by the spring of 1922, one million Eskimo Pies were being sold each day by 2,700 manufacturers. However, because patents were so broad, it was difficult to protect and legal fees skyrocketed to $4,000 a day, nearly $60,000 more than they are today.
Russell Stover left the company in 1923 and began making Russell Stover candies. In 1924, Nelson sold the company to the American Foil Corporation, a manufacturer of food wrappers; then became the Reynolds Metal Company. In 1929, the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's ruling that Nelson's patent was invalid because Eskimo Pie was similar to an earlier product. However, Nelson continued to work for Eskimo Pie for more than 30 years, until stepping down as vice president and director of research. Nelson died in 1992, the same year Eskimo Pies became independent from Reynolds Metals. As of 2018, they are owned by Nestlé.
How to Observe National Edy's Pie Patent Day
Why don’t you get an Eskimo Pie, then spend sometimes on reading the history of Eskimo Pies.
Or if Eskimo Pies aren't sold where you live, buy another ice cream bar you like, which surely most people will agree is at least a nod to the occasion.
ObservedNational Edy's Pie Patent Day has been observed annually on January 24th.
Monday, January 24th, 2022
Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
Wednesday, January 24th, 2024
Friday, January 24th, 2025
Saturday, January 24th, 2026