Richard Blechynden

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Iced tea, the beverage Blechynden is credited with popularizing

Richard Blechynden was an American merchant who is credited with popularizing iced tea. Blechynden sold iced tea at the 1904 World's Fair, after which the drink attained nationwide recognition.[1][2]

History of iced tea[edit]

Iced tea drinks have long been customary in the Carolinas. One of the first recipes for iced tea was published in Virginia in 1878.[3][4]

Blechynden and iced tea[edit]

Blechyden was a merchant and tea plantation owner in turn of the century America. He reportedly decided that a cool tea drink would be more profitable than hot tea during the World's Fair 1904. The fair was held in St. Louis that year, during a particularly hot period. The tea sold so well that it gain national popularity after the event.[1] Another telling of Blechdyen's story holds that his marketing of iced tea was an act of "desperation". In this telling of iced tea's origin, Blechdyn had originally been selling hot tea, but found that fairgoers weren't interested in near-boiling tea in the intense St. Louis heat. It is unknown if he had previously heard of iced tea, but it is certain that his decision to begin selling chilled tea was widely popular at the fair and had a lasting impact.[5]


  1. ^ a b Irwin, Lyndon N. "1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair: The Iced Tea Question". Lyndon Irwin Genealogy Page (blog). Lyndon Irwin.
  2. ^ Stradley, Linda (2015-05-14). "History of Iced Tea and Sweet Tea, Whats Cooking America". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  3. ^ "The Sweet History of Iced Tea". Revolution Tea L.L.C.
  4. ^ Tyree, Marion Cabell (1878). "Iced Tea". Housekeeping In Old Virginia. Richmond, Virginia: J.W. Randolph & English. p. 64 – via Mississippi State University.
  5. ^ Rombauer, Irma S. (1975). Joy of Cooking. Becker, Marion Rombauer. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. p. 40. ISBN 0672518317. OCLC 1444322.