A History Of Old-time Candy | Philadelphia Caller

PHILADELPHIA - Old-time candy, a favorite childhood memory. Taking a walk down memory lane, and those first bursts of Lemon Heads and licorice in the movie theaters (drive-in, of course!) Where did it all come from? Many places.


Here are some facts and fun on those delectable confectionery inventions that we can't live without:

  • In 1847, a young English immigrant, Oliver Chase, invented the first American candy machine, a lozenge cutter. This being the pioneer movement of the NECCO family.
  • In 1868 Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates.
  • In the 1880s, Wunderle Candy Company creates candy corn.
  • In 1903 Milton Hershey built a chocolate factory and a town for his workers near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Known today as Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • In 1911 Frank and Ethel Mars build a candy company in Tacoma, Washington. Later it becomes Mars, Inc.
  • In 1930 the famous Bazooka Bubble Gum, and later, in 1953, the infamous Bazooka Joe.
  • In 1966 The Campbell Soup Company bought the Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. of Belgium. There's nothing better than Belgium chocolates! I take that back. I have discovered that Finnish chocolates are the bomb!
  • In 2007 The Retro-Candy company introduced the 2-pound package of nostalgic candy. What treats!

These are a few of the favorites that have gone on for decades (well, a few of them are working on centuries!)

It's such a shame that so many crafty confections have gone by the wayside—Mary Janes, Parachute Jumpers, Black Cow, to name just a few.

They say that smells bring back memories. What about tastes? Didn't you fall in love with Junior Mints, pucker up to the sour taste of Sweet Tarts, and bite quickly to the center of Blo-Pops and Tootsie Pops

A favorite memory of mine? Zots. Remember those? You put them in your mouth; NEVER suck them. These you had to bite. And WOW! The middle was full of the most sour-tasting lemon you could want! It was like biting straight into a lemon! As soon as you bit into these, it would fit.

Oh, man! I think the fastest I ever ran was when I introduced my dad to the beautiful world of these fizzy Zots! That's something you can only do once. Thankfully, he was a good sport, as I live on to share with you a sweet, and yes, sometimes sour, walk through our pasts.

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