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Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Candy - NECCO

With Halloween just around the corner, let’s have a look at one of New England’s premiere candy companies.

NECCO (New England Confectionery Company) has its roots as far back as 1847. It is the oldest multi-line candy company in the United States. NECCO’s current headquarters is located in Revere, Massachusetts. This company makes the classic NECCO® Wafers, Sweethearts® Conversation Hearts, Mary Jane®, Clark®, Mighty Malts®, Haviland® Thin Mints, and Candy House® Candy Buttons.

According to information found on the company website, Mr. Oliver R. Chase of Boston invented the first candy machine, a lozenge cutter in 1847. He and his brother founded the company which would become NECCO. In 1850, Mr. Chase invented a machine for pulverizing sugar. Eventually, confectioners Daniel Fobes, and William Wright, and Charles Bird would all enter what would become NECCO, which took the name New England Confectionary Company in 1901.

Their success has been far reaching. Reportedly in 1913, explorer Donald MacMillan took Necco Wafers on his Arctic expedition and introduced them to the children of the native people there. We don’t know if he introduced brushing and flossing to them as well. The following year the Charles N. Miller Company began producing Mary Janes, named for Miller’s aunt, and D. L. Clark began in 1917 to make candy bars named after himself. The 20th century was underway with a huge desire for candy.

Some of NECCO’s products are shown in the photograph above. If you buy them for the trick-or-treaters or buy them for yourself, you’re carrying on a long tradition of New England’s confectionary industry. Look at it that way. It might take some of guilt off.

Want to know more? Have a look at NECCO’s website.

Been there? Done that? Ate the whole bag yourself? Let us know.

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