Monday, June 23, 2014

Whitman's Library Package (and I don't mean Walt)

The book format has been internationally popular as a novelty container for many types of candy since at least the late 20th century and probably earlier. One of my favorites is the Whitman's Library Package. In this ad dated 1922, it is referred to by the unfortunate term 'Oddity'. While there are many book-like candy boxes, not many follow through with the theme, as this one does, by providing a Table of Contents and a publisher's list of other titles. The Whitman's Library Package is bound in paper, printed to emulate a full-leather (goatskin) binding with gold tooling. I don't believe it was issued in other binding variants.  

I look forward to showing you other candy blooks in the future, but while we are on the subject I thought that you might enjoy this excerpt from a post that I found today on a site entitled Candy Professor:
...High-quality candy novelties were much more important in the early days of the candy industry. Success in the candy business hinged on moving quickly to introduce new kinds of candy and new novelties to catch the eye of child or adult shopper. Higher priced candy was often bought as a gift, and clever or eye catching presentations would increase a gift’s value. For children’s candies, the novelty could transform a simple candy into something much more appealing.
These candy dolls from the 1920s were manufactured by Huyler’s, a large confectioner better known for quality chocolates. Although these goods are for children, they would have been sold at higher-priced shops and department stores alongside Huyler’s chocolate goods and similar candies. Each was made by hand. These candy dolls appear primitive to the modern eye, but must have been charming and appealing to a child in the 1920s...
...Here is Simple Simon, fashioned of candy sticks, with his chocolate pies.  The book motif is cleverly carried through from the shape of the box to the hand-written rhyme, with the figures and candies playing out the theme.
In the Simple Simon package, the Huyler’s name is featured prominently. The transformation of candy box into part of a toy novelty assures that the manufacturer’s name stays in the child’s mind. The novelties are not only for children’s delight, but also to build business:
The children of today are the candy buyers of the future. [These novelties] give the manufacturer a chance to get first place in the child’s affections.
Source: Edward T. Tandy, “Place of Novelties in Merchandising,” Confectioners Journal April 1921 (Printers Ink March 1921)

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