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Why are wooden sticks usually supplied for ice cream bars?

This seems to organize for eincredibly commercial ice cream bar I have actually ever before had actually, yet I can not find the reason... Why not usage plastic instead, for example?

I am not an professional, yet I presume plastic have the right to be cheaper to manufacture...

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Seems prefer there's most wild mass guessing going on in the answers. It would certainly be amazing to watch a dependable, sourced discussion.
rumtscho Unless someone's delving into massive popsicle manufacture I agree that this question is more theoretical than helpful. That said, I think handy answers are perfectly possible for this question. Athanasius' answer is a great example but counts on the unsourced and hesitant answer by Memj. If someone took the moment to contact a significant manufacturer for input that might lead to a perfect answer. I would certainly cshed a question if it invited only sub-conventional answers however not for having actually low-quality answers when excellent ones can still be submitted.
–user25798
Aug 5 "15 at 15:57


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One aspect is legacy. The popsicle was supposedly developed by Frank Epperkid when he left a drink mixture on the porch overnight in through a wooden stirrer in it. (Some historians have actually questioned this narrative, but, offered that Epperboy asserted this arisen in 1905 in San Francisco, however weather records present that it never before gained cold enough in the 1905 winter tbelow for Epperson"s story to hold up.) The option of hardwood, according to this conventional story, was somewhat accidental, though given that plastics were not yet accessible in 1905, Epperson"s primary selections for stirring would more than likely have actually been steel or wood. (And obviously metal would certainly be uncomfortable to hold in a frozen treat, regardmuch less of whether this beginning story is true or not.)

In any kind of situation, Epperboy later patented his development (including the wood stick) in Oakland also in 1923 and started offering them. Aacquire, this would have actually been also at an early stage for plastic to be a reasonable alternate, so component of the reason for wood popsicle sticks may just be that they are standard and also acquainted to customers.

A business seeking to make a change away from such a tradition would certainly need impetus, either an financial reason (a cheaper but still acceptable product) or an actual product innovation. Given that wooden popsicle sticks are intfinished to be disposable and already attribute well, business economics would be a primary factor to switch, if tbelow were a cheaper material. But Memj"s answer is correct right here. It"s straightforward economics: wood is cheaper in this situation, which is the factor it is supplied for assorted small uniform disposable items from toothpicks to chopsticks, utilizing technology that has been in wide usage given that the beforehand 1900s. (For more information on the factor for production and process on developing small wooden items cheaply, I"d recommend Henry Petroski"s book The Toothpick: Technology and also Culture.)

It"s also vital to note that some businesses actually have actually experimented with disposable plastic sticks. The the majority of common kind were so-called Elsie Stix or Icetix, which were dispersed by Borden Dairy in the U.S. They were intended to be collectible and also made to be used as playthings after serving their function in the ice cream bar. (See photos and also further description below and also below, for example.)

I would note that these sticks quickly resolved potential troubles carried up in some of the various other answers: A series of holes permitted the popsicle to be frozen via the plastic and also hence added to adhesion. And the holes also reduced thermal mass and heat transfer, which would certainly negate any potential discomfort from holding a piece of cold plastic, which appears to be a starray worry to me anyexactly how.**

In any kind of instance, these plastic sticks were undoubtedly even more expensive to manufacture, but they were marketed as a novelty item. And their interlocking nature and use as a toy required world to buy more popsicles to develop via them, thereby giving an economic impetus to justify the included price.

Without such an economic inspiration for "standard" disposable popsicle sticks, and also with wooden sticks being standard, there"s bit factor for businesses to make a switch to plastic.

** More details around thermal properties: While some plastics are somewhat better at moving heat than wood, tbelow are many kind of forms of plastic which would certainly not be noticeably uncomfortable compared to hardwood in a small stick, even if they were solid. Keep in mind that the thermal conductivity of many kind of traditional plastics is around 0.2-0.3 W/m-K, only around double that of hardwood, which is approximately 0.13 W/m-K. Compare that to the majority of metals, which could actually freeze one"s hand also to them, which have actually conductivities which are thousands of times that significant. Specific heat is roughly the same for plastic and also lumber, and the density of most plastics is only a tiny higher than birch, which is a standard hardwood for popsicle sticks. Bottom line is that plastic popsicle sticks would certainly absorb warm somewhat even more quickly and stay colder a little longer, yet not enough to develop substantial discomfort for a tiny, thin piece of plastic.

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But, theory aside, one have the right to conveniently buy reusable plastic sticks for homemade popsicles -- simply search Amazon for "plastic popsicle sticks". (Here"s a review comparing 26 different varieties of plastic molds, almost all with plastic sticks/handles.) And I don"t think I"ve ever before checked out a evaluation complaining about discomfort in holding them. I"ve also watched multitudes of baby teething playthings, for instance, which are meant to be frozen and are made out of plastic: the concept of a "damp hand also freezing" to a little thin piece of plastic appears quite unmost likely.