A Brief History of Candy-late 1800’s to The Late 1920’s
The beginnings of candy, in brief.
Candy has a long and interesting history. Starting in 1854 the first box of Whitman’s chocolate came out and still stays a favorite today. By 1868 a Valentine’s box of chocolate was introduced by the Cadbury company. Another holiday favorite is created in 1880 by Wunderle Candy Company. The Halloween treat candy corn hits the market and it is still one of the all time best selling Halloween candies even today. By the late 1890’s Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint gum is sold by William Wrigley Jr. of New York in 1893 and by 1896 Tootsie Rolls are created Leo Hirshfield, who named them after his daughter’s nickname.
The 1900’s brought additional candy changes and inventions. The first chocolate bar is made by Milton S. Hershey. It is the longest produced American candy bar in history. 1901 saw the creation of peppermint sticks by The King Leo and NECCO wafers made by the New England Confectionery Company, NECCO being an acronym for the company name. NECCO than moves onto Valentine colorful conversation heart candy in 1902. 1905 sees the development of the Squirrel Nut Zipper by the Squirrel Brand Company. This was the first peanut bar, but it was discontinued in the late 1980’s. Hershey Milk Chocolate Company introduces their Hershey Kisses, in same silver wrapper that they are sold in today, in 1906. Then in 1912 Life Savers are made and named for their round shape with a hole in the center. Originally they were only made in a peppermint flavor and it would not be until 1934 that the five flavor Life Savors would appear. Also in 1912, Whitman’s introduces the sampler box of chocolates and they are the first to place an index within the box so chocolate lovers can choose which chocolates to eat.
A number of years pass and then in 1920 Fannie May Candies open their first retail store in Chicago. Also, Baby Ruth is created and named after the famous baseball player. A year later in 1921, Chuckles jelly candy is made and then in 1922 Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are made in Pennsylvania. 1923 sees the creation of Mounds Chocolate Bar and the Milky Way Candy bar. Then between 1925 and 1928 Bit-O-honey, Milk Duds, Heath Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups hit the market, becoming long time American favorites.
All this before even hitting the mid 1900’s. Of course the candy history continues on and has a colorful and interesting life after the late 1920’s.