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One Hundred Years Old “Sweet”

Lots of things happened in 1912.  The Titanic sunk.  The Girl Scouts were organized.  The first N.H.L. game was played.  The scene of many battles between The Yankees and The Red Sox, Fenway Park opened.  And, an icon nestled by millions of cash registers, Life-Savers candy was introduced.

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This is all about those sweet little circles with the hole in the middle called Life-Savers.

Too bad they didn’t have enough real lifesavers for the Titanic.  Today, Life-Savers are sold in several incarnations such as, gummies, minis, Creme Savers, and Life-Saver Fusions.

But, we’re talking history here and for many of us nostalgia.  This is about the Life-Saver in it’s original tinfoil roll packs.

Iconic shape was accidental

The candy was created by Clarence Crane a candy maker from Cleveland, Ohio.  Crane farmed out the production end to a pill manufacturer.  Turns out the machinery malfunctioned and produced a hole in the middle of the mints.

The first flavor introduced was Pep-O-Mint.  Several years later additional flavors(this is how they were spelled on the packages) were added including Wint-O-Green, Cl-O-ve, Lic-O-Riche, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-let, Choc-O-Late, and Malt-O-Milk .  In the mid 20’s the tinfoil packaging was replaced with aluminium foil.  In 1931 thy came out with a menthol Life-Savers cough drop.  The drop was a flop.

Five-Flavor Rolls Introduced in 1935

It wasn’t until 1935 that the popular five flavor rolls of pineapple, lime, orange, cherry, and lemon debuted.  By the end of the 1940’s they marketed a variety of flavors such as anise, butter rum, cola, root beer, a clear Life-Saver called Cryst-O-Mint, Molas-O-Mint, Spear-O-Mint, Choc-O-Mint, and Stik-O-Pep.  You may remember having a Cryst-O-Mint or a Choc-O-Mint.  They were great.  The Stik-O-Pep was just like a candy cane.  Unfortunately, most of the flavors are now extinct.

After a lot of searching the only flavors I could find were five flavors, Pep-O-Mint, butter rum, Spear-O-Mint, Wint-O-Green, tropical fruit, and wild cherry.  Too bad there’s not enough room on candy store shelves for all the flavors.

Just the same, happy 100th birthday to “The Candy With the Hole.”


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