Back to all articles

The History of Tootsie Pops

Tootsie Pops were created in 1931, just 35 years after Tootsie Rolls were invented by Leo Hirschfield back in 1896. Reportedly, the idea came from Luke Weisgram, an employee at the company that would later become known as Tootsie Roll Industries. He and his colleagues were asked to come up with ideas for a new candy and inspired by his experience of licking his daughter’s lollipop while chewing on a Tootsie Roll, Weisgram pitched the idea for Tootsie Pops. The company liked the idea so much that they put it into production. Tootsie Pops quickly became a popular American treat, in part because they were an affordable option during the Great Depression. The first flavor was chocolate, while cherry, orange, grape, and raspberry debuted soon after (in fact, the five flavors make up the company’s “original mix” today). In 1970, the brand’s famous advertising character Mr. Owl was born and the world was introduced to the slogan, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” Today, Tootsie Pops remain extremely popular, so much so that many scientific attempts have been made to answer the brand’s clever adverting question. The answer they came up with? There's no one size fits all solution — it depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your mouth and the amount of saliva you produce!

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.