On Dec. 10, during Historic Ft. Steilacoom’s annual “Christmas at the Fort” one of the re-enactors gifted me with a roll of historic candy–here’s the rest of the story:
In 1847, a young English immigrant, Oliver Chase, invented the first American candy machine, a lozenge cutter. After initial success selling his new candy, he and his brother, Silas Edwin, founded Chase and Co., which became the pioneer member of the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO®) family.
Over the years, NECCO® Wafers became so popular that in the 1913 famed Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan gave them to Eskimo children on his journeys to the North. And in the 1930’s Admiral Byrd included 2½ tons of NECCO® Wafers in his supply list for a two year stay in the Antarctic. Then, during WWII, the U.S. Government requisitioned a major portion of production for American soldiers serving in WWII, as the wafers didn’t melt and rarely broke during transport.
Today, approximately 630 million NECCO® Wafers are made each year. Placed edge to edge, they would go around the world twice!