Archive for the ‘Candy History’ Category
Clark bars, the signature item of one of the country’s largest candy empires, started with a small operation run by young entrepreneur David L. Clark in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mr. Clark entered the candy business in 1891 and spent a few years learning the trade before starting his own company, D.L. Clark Co., in 1886.
He manufactured candy in two back rooms of a small house with the help of a small staff.
Within a few years, he made enough money to open a small factory in McKeesport, where the company became incorporated
By 1911, the company had outgrown its factory, and Mr. Clark purchased a large building from a cracker manufacturer.
In the 1920s when the company was making approximately one hundred and fifty (150) different types of candy and gum, Mr. Clark decided to create a separate entity for the gum-making business.
He felt that the candy and gum operations would be more successful if the were run separately, so he opened the Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Co. across the street from his candy factory.
Following Mr. Clark’s death in 1939, his family continued to run the business until 1955. The company operated smoothly in Pittsburgh for several decades but ran into financial difficulties in the 1990s.
Eventually, the company was bought by New England Confectionary Co. and relocated.
Like many retro favorites, McKeesport Candy Co., was one of the first wholesaler in the nation to offer Clark Bars and still does so today via its web site at CandyFavorites.com
Did you know that Chupa Chupa’s were launched in 1958 by a Spanish businessman named Bernat Fontladosa and are now one of the best selling lollipops in the world
This famous lollipop is sold in over one hundred and seventy (170) countries and the company claims to produce over four billion lollipops yearly
The name, now familiar to almost any candy lover, comes from the Spanish verb “chupar” which translates to suck or lick
Little do people know that the famous floral logo was designed by a famous Spanish artist named Salvador Dali
The “Original” One Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar
Manufactured by Nestle
In 1950′s the hottest programs on TV were quiz shows like “The $64,000 Question,” “Twenty-One,” and “The Big Surprise.”
On the “Big Surprise”, one of the first trivia shows, the contestant chose a subject area and was asked to answer questions ranging in value from $100 to $100,000.
Due to the success of the “Big Surprise”, Nestle decided to launch a new candy bar to take advantage of the popularity of the successful television program
Introduced in 1920 , the Baby Ruth candy bar has fueled one of the great candy mysteries with speculation as to where it got it’s name
Some say it was the great baseball slugger, while other’s claim it was President Grover Cleveland’s daughter.
Here’s another piece of candy trivia:
The fabled Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bar were originally made by the now defunct Curtis Candy Company
The company president, Otto Schnering, used a unique, albeit dangerous, marketing ploy of dropping these candy bars out of planes over major cities
The candy is no longer manufactured by the Curtis Candy Company and distribution is, more often than not, by truck but they remain one of America’s favorites candy bars
It can be difficult for me to appreciate simple candy pleasures but when possible, I like to savor the types of candy that used to really make my day as a kid. I would eat Swedish Fish, the individually wrapped ones, and really savor them; spend 10 minutes alone in a dark room with a sour apple Blow Pop (man, those were good!) or eat Tootsie Rolls, the short ones out of teachers’ candy dishes or the longer ones when I splurged at the candy store (hey, I could get two Fish for that dime!) Well, today’s post is a little homage to the humble Tootsie Roll.
The Tootsie Roll was introduced in 1896 in New York City – I knew I liked this candy – and named after the daughter of the candymaker: Her nickname was Tootsie. The candymaker, Leo Hirshfield, brought the recipe for the chocolate chew from his native Austria. In 1938, the operation was moved to Hoboken, NJ just in time: when World War II breaks out, Tootsie Rolls are included in war rations and become highly prized for their ability to withstand severe weather conditions and for their (relative) caloric density.
In the 1950’s, the company gains popularity in part due to their eager sponsorship of children’s television shows such as Howdy Doody, Rin Tin Tin and Rocky & Bullwinkle. One of the things people apparently remember best about Tootsie Roll promotions is the jingle, which goes a little something like this:
“The world looks mighty good to me
‘cause Tootsie Rolls are all I see
Whatever it is I think I see
Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me.
Tootsie Roll how I love your chocolatey chew
Tootsie Roll I think I’m in love with you
Whatever it is I think I see
Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me.”
And on that note (pun intended) I am going to leave you to your thoughts of chewy chocolatey goodness.
Never have I associated so much pop trivia with a candy bar! Mars Bar is not only known for its scrumptious caramel, nougat, and almond all doused in milk chocolate, but it is also dipped in some delicious myths, legends, and controversy.
1960s: One popular myth that never died throughout the decades tells us that while raiding one particular Rolling Stones party the police found the legendary Mick Jagger eating a Mars Bars strategically between the legs of Marianne Faithfull. Of course, she denies it to this day. Even if it wasn’t true, that is certainly one way I’ve never considered eating a Mars Bar.
December 2003: Friends or foe, the Mars Bar appeals to all. Our United States military captured Saddam Hussein with a stash of Mars Bars within arms reach during Operation Red Dawn.
July 2005: The parent company of Mars Bars recalled their shipment in Australia due to an extortion attempt against Sydney’s Star City Casino. The extortionist claimed to have poisoned several Mars bars at random, so the company recalled the product in New South Wales. This just goes to show that such a sinfully delicious chocolate bar has its negative aspects too.
And the list goes on. It’s a shame that this delectable gem is no longer sold. However, the parent company does sell a line of Snickers that acts as the official replacement of the Mars Bar. So the next time you take a break from these dreary winter days and take a bite out of the Snickers Almond Mars Bar, just think – you’re a part of chocolate history.
Oh, Valentine’s Day. If you’re a romantic, the phrase brings up heartwarming thoughts of love, togetherness, roses, flowers and chocolates. If you’re a cynic, you probably think that Valentine’s Day is a huge scam constructed by the diamond, greeting card, flower and candy companies to make women expect presents from their men.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. British settlers brought the holiday over from Europe in the 19th century, and the first mass-produced valentines (made of embossed paper lace) were produced and sold in 1848 by Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts. She was inspired by a British card she’d received. This tradition evolved into the exchange of gifts, flowers, candy and cards. In the 1980s the diamond industry was successfully able to associate its product with the holiday as well. Currently, over 1 billion Valentine cards and over 50 million roses are sent in the U.S each year for Valentine’s Day.
So what’s the iconic candy of Valentine’s Day? The obvious first choice would be Conversation Hearts. NECCO has been producing these little boxes of chalky love since the civil war, and NECCO must produce about 100,000 pounds of the candy hearts every day in order to meet the demands of the Valentine season, when about 8 billion hearts are sold in six weeks. Feel the need to surprise that special someone a custom-written Conversation Heart? It’s totally doable… that is, as long as you don’t mind purchasing an entire production run of them. That’s 1.7 million ways to say I love you! What could be better than that?
In the end, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to appreciate and pamper those you love. So cynics, buck up and do something nice. Make your beloved a romantic card, buy her a box of chocolates, and just bask in the love. And if you don’t have a special someone, who cares? Get your friends together, eat some ice cream and Thin Mints, and have a Singles’ Awareness Day where you talk about how much you totally don’t need a date. Sometimes, that can be more fun than the traditional Valentine’s dinner date!
But however you choose to celebrate the holiday, I hope you have fun, keep warm, and stay sweet!
Kristin Wells (from the American Oil and Gas Historical Society)
Long gone are the days of “Bazooka zooka bubblegum.” Remember how easy it was to recognize the small red, white, and blue in the bucket at the corner store? Remember how important it was to read about Bazooka Joe while chewing hard enough to blow bubbles? I collected so many of those wrappers that I could started pasting them in a scrapbook and read through them often. But Bazooka left those simple days behind.
I ignored the strange expansion of the Bazooka line to include flavors like strawberry and grape. I even turned the other way when they decided to change the signature red, white, and blue to match the flavor of the gum. I scratched my head when I saw a Bazooka lollipop. This has gone far enough! Now even the shape of the gum is no longer intact. It has conformed to the average chewy rectangle commonly associated with Winterfresh and DoubleMint gum.
The wrapper, gum color, and shape make Bazooka chewing gum virtually unrecognizable. Yes, it tastes the same. Yes, the comics can be found in the wrappers. However, I do wish for the simple times when I could reach into a plastic bucket and pull out a handful of red, white, and blues without wondering why on earth someone would tamper with such tradition. Bazooka chewing gum is no longer a part of our simple life.