Timeline Description: With his principle interests being in medicine, Edwin Elijah Perkins was, however, most custom to gelatinous products. He was best known for inventing Kool-Aide. Perkins was also a generous philanthropist.
|January 8, 1889||Perkins was born.
Born in Lewis, Iowa, Perkins grew up around his family's grocery store. As a child, he experimented with different products in the store and in his mother's kitchen.
|1902||Perkins answered magazine ads.
At the age of 13, Perkins answered two magazine ads. One was for manufacturing packaged foods and the other was how to start a print shop. As a combination of these businesses, Perkins was running a newspaper business and selling perfume made from his chemistry set.
|1904||Perkins was introduced to Jell-O.
Working in his father's store with his childhood friend/ future wife Kitty Shoemaker, Perkins shared a bowl of Jell-O with his future wife. He realized that he wanted to make pre-packaged food.
|1921||Perkins had a line of makeup products.
The Onor-Maid line of beauty products was invented by Perkins. His company manufactured over 125 different products, ranging from food flavorings to jelly products and from deodorant to hair remover.
|1924||Fruit Smack was invented.
One of Perkins' most popular inventions, Fruit Smack, was created. It came in corked bottles of concentrated flavor and added to water. It was, however, very messy. Perkins wanted to create a powder form.
|1927||Perkins invented Kool-Aide.
Edwin's favorite product to experiment was Jell-O. After several failed attempts, he realized he could make a drink mix from similar ingredients and invented Kool-Aide.
|1931||The Perkins Company moved to Chicago.
Demand for Kool-Aide escalated during the Great Depression. Perkins moved Perkins Products Company to Chicago from Hastings and the workforce grew from his family to 350 workers by 1950.
|1953||Edwin sold his product.
After great success in grocery stores, Kool-Aide was bought by General Foods so Perkins could spend the rest of his life working on new inventions and donating money to those in need.
|July 3, 1961||Perkins passed away.
Perkins died a wealthy man. He was buried in the family's church cemetery and joined by his wife in 1977.Edwin Perkins created a product that is still popular almost one hundred years later. He was a testament to allowing curiosity drive you. His interest in Jell-O led to an amazing product that is still a hit with children and adults today.