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Inventor of "Kool-Ade" in 1927
Kitty and Edwin Perkins in California
Kitty and Edwin Perkins later in life in a redwood forest in California.
Courtesy Kitty M. Perkins Foundation
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Born in Iowa in 1889, Edwin Elijah Perkins would grow up to become the inventor and promoter of Kool-Aid (originally spelled "Kool-Ade") — still a favorite, affordable drink of children nationwide.


Replica of Norris' father's storefront
This replication of Norris’ father’s storefront is the entrance to the Kool-Aid exhibit at the Hastings Museum in Hastings, Nebraska.
Courtesy Hastings Museum

In 1900 at age 11, Edwin was working at his father’s store in the village of Hendley, Nebraska when his childhood friend and future wife, Kathryn Melda "Kitty" Shoemaker, introduced him to a powder product called "Jell-O". This later inspired him at age 38 to make his own pre-packaged food, expanding his by-then already successful career.


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Father Edward J. Flanagan   next button
 
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This module was funded in part by the Cooper Foundation,
Abel Foundation, and the Nebraska Humanities Council.
Find out about more NOTABLE NEBRASKANS.
1850-1874
J. Sterling
Morton
1875-1899
Susan La Flesche
Picotte
1900-1924
Father Edward
J. Flanagan
1925-1949
Edwin
Perkins
1925-1949
George W.
Norris
1925-1949
Mildred
Brown