For years, the closest 'Eskimos' to Iowa were some 3,000 miles away in Alaska, but that didn't stop one small-town candy store owner in the Hawkeye State from using the moniker to launch what would become an iconic ice cream treat.

The Eskimo Pie.

The slab of vanilla ice cream, encased in a shell of chocolate, was an integral part of many a childhood around the world. And it's celebrating a birthday today.


On January 24, 1922, U.S. patent 1,404,539 was issued for the Eskimo Pie, which was the brainchild of Onawa Iowa's Christian Nelson.

According to Wikipedia, Nelson emigrated to Iowa from Denmark and was working as a school teacher and candy store owner in 1920 when he developed what he first called the 'I-Scream Bar', after a child in his store couldn't decide whether to spend his money on ice cream or a chocolate bar.

The bar was an instant hit and that led Nelson to partner with Iowa City's Russell Stover to help mass produce it. It was Stover's wife Clara came up with the Eskimo Pie name.

Oakland, California-based Dreyer's bought the brand in 2007.

In 2021, due to the political incorrectness of the phrase 'Eskimo', the name of the product was changed to Edy's Pie, in recognition of Dreyer's co-founder, candy maker Joseph Edy.

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