Our candies and treats in the late 1940s and 1950s!
More Childhood Memories of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Provided by John Babina
(Edison 1955, Hall 1956, Notre Dame 1961; and Success Park)
We had a lot of different candies that we munched down with delight. I wonder how much Red Dye #2 (made from coal tar) we consumed? In any case, the food police had not arrived on the scene yet.
Several locations in my Success Park neighborhood stood out:
1) The candy counter in the Power House building at Success Park had a candy counter run by the State Board of Education for the Blind. The blind fellow knew where each type of candy was located and reached for it immediately. He also made change with no problem.
2) A house across the street from Edison School on Boston Terrace had a little candy counter in a side attachment to the home with a side entrance door.
3) The legendary Augies newsstand in a little wooden shack on Success Ave. just over the Bridgeport line in Stratford had a great candy counter. It was known to be visited now and then by law officers under the suspicion of offering certain games.
They are still around and delicious. A powerful magnet that sucked the amalgam fillings out of our teeth! These and lollipops were thrown out of election campaign loud speaker trucks.
Wax lips and wax mustaches
We use to wear them and then eat them. Ugh!
They came with real logos of Lucky Strikes, Camels, Pall Malls and Chesterfields. Never too young to start us kids on the habit. I remember they had a red tip. They tasted like peppermint. I also remember fake cigarettes that you blew through then and puffed our fake smoke which was probably talcum powder.
Bonomos Turkish Taffy
You were supposed to freeze it and then smack it on a hard surface to break it into pieces and share with your friends. The pieces were sharp! It was advertised Sunday mornings on NBCs Horn and Hardart Children's Hour in the 1950s with Ed Herlihy. I particularly remember the banana flavor.
Very thin and wavy with long colored stripes of red and green at Christmas time. They would easily disintegrate when handled.
One of my favorite treats.
Clear sugary crystals that looked like rock salt they threw on the winter roads.
Bazooka Bubble gum
That came with a little cartoon strip in each package. Do you remember we had bubble blowing contests? Remember the little cartoons inside the wrapper?
The legendary foil wrapped chocolate treats. The street light fixtures in Hershey Pennsylvania were shaped like them.
I remember when they were sold in those coin-operated candy dispensers where you had to twist the lever knob. Some machines were set up by the Lions club. They had to get rid of the red ones for awhile even though they did not use red dye #2. I heard that M&Ms turned down the original product placement in the blockbuster hit movie ET.
Hot balls or Devil Balls
Also dispensed in a coin machine, they were really hot to eat.
Still around and always tasty the gift when you did not know what to give! Chocolate drops with the red cherry and juice inside was the real prize.
PEZ and the PEZ Dispensers
We ate the mints until we got sick. The kitschy dispensers became a collectors item and were even decorated with Disney Character heads. PEZ was a shortening of the German word for peppermint (pieffeminz). The candy was invented in Austria in 1927 and introduced to the US in 1952. There were over 550 different dispenser designs.
Waxed bottles of color liquid
Remember you had to bite off the top, drink the liquid and then eat the bottle!
Came in multi-colors thin wafer packs with little phrases on them like I Love You, etc. There were also heart shaped mints that appeared at Valentines Day with I Love You on them.
Movie House Candy
Ju Ju Fruits, Milk Duds, Raisinets, Crows, Spearmint Leaves, Nestle Sno-Caps with Nonpareils (white sprinkles on top) and Good & Plentys (Remember "Choo-Choo Charlie" shaking the box to make steam train sounds in the TV commercials!)
Cut it into 3 pieces to share them with friends . . . was the sales pitch.
Another legendary Candy and it could come with almonds.
Hard Candy shaped like peanuts with a soft peanut butter center.
Brachs Root Beer Barrels
A hard brown semi-clear candy. Tasted just like root beer!
They were made in a factory in Port Chester starting in 1920, and they had huge live saver rolls attached to the building on stand-off brackets that you could see from the train going to New York City. Those rolls were about 17 feet long and 4 feet in diameter. The factory closed in 1984.
The best lollipops were Tootsie Pops with some Tootsie Roll candy inside. And the actual Tootsie Rolls . . . of course.
Cotton Candy and the Candy Apple
I hated the pink fluffy cotton candy, but loved the candy apples.
Twisted black licorice . . . . and later red licorice became available. Real licorice had medicinal qualities.
Bubble gum in trading cards
Besides the obvious baseball and football cards, there was the popular Wheels cards of current and past automobiles that I collected around 1955.
You could not stop eating them. Later made famous by Ronald Regan
Solid bunnies from real milk chocolate were the best. Hollow bunnies of fake chocolate were awful.
Large sugar Easter eggs
They had a cellophane window on the end where you could peer in and see candy animals representative of Easter inside. The worst sugar high when you ate the shell.
The gooey marshmallow eggs with a yellow coating.
Remember the ubiquitous candy corn kernels. We would come home with a shopping bag full of various treats and go out again! The big treat was the miniature candy bars.
Peter Paul Mounds
They got their start in New Haven, CT, and were selling stock door to door for 15 cents a share. They built a factory in Naugatuck and then added Almond Joy and York Peppermint Patties to their line.
Even though it was not candy . . . Remember the.....
Good Humor ice cream trucks featuring Toasted Almond.
sold by the walking vendors in Seaside and Beardsley Parks?
Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds . . . . Coated in salt!
Cracker Jacks. And the always popular toy inside - remember the fake tattoo decals for your hands.
Popcorn balls in red and green cellophane. These had to be the lowest cost handout treats at Christmas events. They were handed out by Santa when he landed in a Sikorsky helicopter at Seaside Park.
Want to add some of your favorites? Please send them via email to John Babina at e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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