After war-time rationing of sugar, candy (with many other products) had a boom. And a new market: The child themselves. While mummy and Granny may recall tootsie rolls and penny candy amid jars of candy sticks and penny candy, it was a sometimes treat. By 1950’s this same treat was made much more appealing to its target audience.
The bright shiny plastic world of children's candy really started in this decade.
Here are the first pez, introduced in 1955. They featured a full bodied robot or Santa.
And not only were candies more exciting and placed for children’s reach in stores, they also began to be specifically marketed to them. From 1949 –1952 Snickers was the sponsor of the Howdy Doody show. Other candy was also advertised at this time. What is interesting is how commercials once began in the late 40’s early 50’s, as part of the programming rather than a separate commercial break, is what many advertisers are now going back to. Here is Howdy and friends extolling the wonderment of the Three musketeers bar
Soon sugar, er that is, Candy began sprining up in all sorts of places. Sure, one could have a coke, but they could be expensive, but if you wanted that sugar rush in a glass, why not get mummy to buy Fizzies! These would be introduced next year, 1957. Made by the bromo company, that used to offer ‘upset stomach relief’ now they were a kids treat.
And, to be more adult, one had candy cigarettes. Even I recall these as a child in the late 70’s. I remember there were both candy and gum cigarettes. We always preferred the gum variety, as they were coated in powdered sugar under the paper wrapper, and one could blow out and it was like a puff of smoke. Of course, the gum’s flavor suffered for its sugar loss, but we didn’t care. It was fun to play ‘movie star’ and be glamorous. This, however, never made me want to smoke in real life. I have, on occasion, smoked filter less cigarettes for fun, but never more than possibly three individual cigarettes in one month, so I think I could safely say I was not addicted.
Candy even influenced our music. Candy Floss by British Terry Dene. Though somewhat lost on US audiences, as we call it “Cotton Candy”, at least we did in the 1950’s.
And the lovely Chordettes with Lollipop
Now, while searching for the Chordettes version of Lollipop, I found this modern version of a song called lollipop by Lil Wayne. I just put the link as you can decide if you want to watch it. HERE IT IS. I suggest, if you watch it, be cautious of your children in the room. It isn’t as racy as some, but what is amazing to me is the blatant objectification of women. What really burns me is how so many will go on and on about how women were ‘so oppressed’ in the 1950’s and yet feel fine that their teenage sons and daughters watch a rapper as he shows his great wealth. Why look at all he owns, many diamonds (which always surprises me when you consider the amount of young African children who literally die to mine them) big cars and, of course, tons of women, just for him. What a great message for our daughters, you value is in your looks, the amount of possessions you can get from your man. I would put Gentleman Prefer Blondes up against this any day, at least that has a cute moral ending.
I honestly feel for the current and coming generations. I wish they could have the innocence and the beauty of the old days. Some may think having a door held for one is oppression, I think it good manners. And having a date feel the need to dress up and take you dancing, dancing where you can talk and where beautiful gowns,not bumping and grinding in a loud club that is so boring one needs overt amounts of alcohol and drugs to deal with it.
It might not seem cool now, but I know a girl would love to be treated like that. Why do you think the Disney Princess and the Vampire novels where the young man has ‘old fashioned ways’ and can’t actually do anything to you are so popular? Girls miss romance, but don’t realize it because there is no romance left in the world. They can’t really see it but somehow feel it missing. And the ‘romance’ of modern ‘chick flicks’ are often false tales of some ‘bad boy’ or someone who just happens to ‘turn himself around’. When, really, there are plenty of actual gentlemen in the world that girls could consider right off, but they may not be ‘cool’.
With good manners and consideration, women have lost their place of courteousness in men’s eyes. It is good that we can be seen to be equal in the work place, let’s not go away with that, but this subtle woman as object or something to be conquered attitude that silently permeates our society is rather scary, I think. I don’t know how I would feel if I had a teenage daughter, rather worried I would think.
I promised myself to try and stop the comparison of then and now and continue to focus on only the good of the old days, but in a way, its the good I find that makes the bad today seem so wretched. And somehow it all seems so propagated by a few simply to make money and keep us wanting more. But, I digress…
My point to mention candy today was to do a two or three part post in which I talk about candy making. Something I am now doing, to sell at a local fair with a friend. So, all of that to get to some fun candy recipes tomorrow. My mind does go off on tangents!
Well, tomorrow I will share some recipes and fun images of candy making. Get your candy thermometers out ladies and gents…