Inventions: Kool-Aid

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Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. Perkins liked to experiment with home-made concoctions in his mother’s kitchen and came up with a liquid concentrate he called Fruit Smack. To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. This powder was initially named Kool-Ade and then renamed Kool-Aid. Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953.  Hastings still celebrates a yearly summer festival called Kool-Aid Days on the second weekend in August, in honor of their city’s claim to fame. Kool-Aid is known as Nebraska’s official soft drink. (WikiHastings Museum)