Christmas Hard Candy! A Vintage Catalog Extravaganza!

Christmas Hard Candy

1937 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Hard candy. Boiled sweets. Teeth Crackers. Call them whatever you like, these colorful, iron hard confections remind us of Christmas at Granny’s house. Whether they be fruit or mint flavored, drops or ribbons, tinned or jarred, we kept going back for more! And if mom or dad told us we’d had enough, granddad had a private stash by his recliner that he’d share on the sly.
This is a tribute to that time honored holiday goodie. Taken from the pages of vintage Sears catalogs from 1937 through 1979, these colorful pages are almost good enough to lick. I again extend my apprciation to the folks at Wishbookweb.com for making these scans available. If you’re into 20th century advertising design, department store history or just enjoy looking at the Christmas catalogs from your childhood, this is an amazing website! Go there!
As always, click any image for the full page scan.
 
1940 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy

1940 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Ten pounds of candy for a buck and change. I feel like that was a bargain, even for 1940. I could be wrong though. It’s possible you could have bought a car for a dollar fifty in 1940. I don’t really understand inflation.
I like that the pail depicted above is divided into multiple sections. This is the precursor to the modern flavored popcorn cans that are so popular around this time of year.
 
Christmas Hard Candy

1940 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a tub of candy. Jack munched down and broke a crown and Jill just swilled some brandy.
 
Little girl christmas candy

1942 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Okay, let us be clear. This little girl is greedy. The photographer didn’t need to say, “Okay Clarissa, we need you to hold the candy bucket like it’s your prize dolly.” She was way ahead of Fred the Photographer on that one.
 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy

1942 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


I like the chopped stick candy with pictures running through the center. Reminds me of British ‘Rock’ stick candy that they sell by the seashore. I assume it’s made exactly the same way. Take that Brits! Sears stole your rock candy! Or did you give it to us during Lend-Lease?
Also, regarding the stick candy chunks in the image above, does that one near the middle just say, “OK”? That’s a bit of a bore, isn’t it?
 
Christmas Hard Candy

1947 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Starlight mints? Get those out of there! We have candy canes on the tree! Who, in their right mind, would reach for a starlight/pinwheel when there’s a lovely curved stick that you can suck to a point? They taste exactly the same, and the candy cane has the added benefit of being able to torture little brothers and sisters. The candy cane is a multitasker!
 
Christmas Hard Candy ribbon candy

1952 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


More broken sticks of rock, these with flower images inside. And an overabundance of  starlights! Space fillers, all of them!
 
High contrast christmas candy

1956 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


You know, for as much holiday candy as I’ve eaten, I don’t think I’ve ever been presented with a piece of ribbon candy. They’re all the rage in these ads. Also, the above ad may be my favorite from all of these. I love the high contrast. It’s like they painted black into all the nooks and crannies between the candy. I just love it.
 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy

1958 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Candy that comes in a collared tin, like the ‘Diana Stuft’ tin above, seems slightly impractical. I’m from Florida, and the humidity here makes just about any sugary substance extra sticky, extra quick. I imagine that any confection left in there by January 1st is going to have to be chiseled out with an ice pick.
 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy

1962 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy french creams

1964 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Woof, this is a motley combination of hards and softs. There are hard candies mixed in there, but they’re being overtaken by jellies and, ick, french creams. What’s wrong with you, 1964? French Creams just look like the 1960s, folded into a confection. French Cream: The mod dress of the candy world. Except I actually like mod dresses.
 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy country inn confections

1972 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


Color! May your eyes be be ever seared by Christmas red! Also, Country Inn makes a big bold appearance! See my Christmas fruitcake article for lots of Country Inn. I still don’t know if it was a Sears and Roebuck brand, but I’m hoping one of you will fill me in! Comments below!
 
Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy tin

1979 Sears Catalog – Christmas Hard Candy


And as we depart the 1970s, the blandness of 1980s catalog coloration and design begins to bleed backwards. Still, those Country Inn tins remind me of my youth. My family had tins just like this around the holidays and it fills me with warmth.

Also Check Out….

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other Department Store Christmas catalog tributes. More to come in over the next few weeks.
Those wonderfully tacky Sausage and Cheese gift packs!
The gift that everyone dreads, the Christmas Fruitcake!
And don’t forget to visit Wishbookweb.com! It’s the best place to make the fantasy Christmas list that the 11 year old you would approve!

Christmas Fruitcake! – A Vintage Catalog Extravaganza!

vintage catalog fruitcake

1942 Sears Catalog – Christmas Fruitcake


Tis the season for a new batch of classic department store Christmas catalog time travel! And today, I bring you that classic Christmas cliche, in all of it’s kitschy glory: The Christmas Fruitcake. These images are culled primarily from Sears Catalogs, from 1937 to 1988. The catalog fruitcake is a perennial favorite, though I don’t recall if I’ve ever once tried a slice. Given that it’s reputation precedes it due to negative reinforcement from movies, tv shows, comics and general vibes from other humans, I’ve always shurgged it off. Yet, there’s nothing about the ingredients of the standard fruitcake that really offends me. I like cake. I like candied fruit. I like nuts (within reason). I like Christmas. What is there for me to dislike? Maybe this year, I’ll give fruitcake a try. Until then, enjoy these colorful representations of that classic seasonal doorstop. Click any image to enlarge to the full page catalog ad.
Oh, and don’t forget to head over to Wishbookweb.com where I found these fantastic images. If you’re into 20th century advertising design, department store history or just enjoy looking at the Christmas catalogs from your childhood, this is an amazing website!
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Japanese Noodle Vending Machine Wallpaper

Japanese Noodle Vending Machine Illustration
I’m a real sucker for Japanese vending machines. In general, I love the multitude of designs, colors and contents available. More than the modern machines though, I love the vintage designs that can still be found here and there, scattered around Japan. I’ve spent hours watching the videos on http://jihanki.michikusa.jp/. Uotani Yusuke’s website introduced me to the wondrous world of of the Fuji Electric noodle vending machine. Capable of spinning out fresh hot ramen and udon, these old machines were a staple in Japan’s 24/7 vending spots back in the 1970s and 1980s. They served up hot, quick meals for travelers and tourists. The relatively few machines that still exist today are kept alive with hand made replacement parts and are lovingly fed with 100 yen coins by enthusiasts, like USK.
I recreated the Fuji noodle machine as an illustration and I’m providing it as desktop and cellphone wallpaper. I’ll be adding other wallpapers soon. Some will be Japanese vending machines, but I’ll be posting other pieces of art that I’ve had on this site in high resolution. I hope you enjoy. Click here for the wallpaper page.

Burger King in the 1980s

Outside a Burger King in the 1980s
Repost from November 2010. I found a trade journal put out by Prosperity International in 1984 called, “FLORIDA: In Shape for The Future”. It’s filled with all kinds of promotional materials for Florida companies. (Ironic note… it was printed in Japan. I guess there were no Florida printing companies that would pay for advertising?) In it I found some fun Burger King photos. I loved Burger King in the 1980s. Hell, I can’t help it, I still love it! Click photos to make larger.
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Vintage Wilton Cake Toppers: A Lifetime Supply of Choking Hazards


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It’s really quite something, the obscure collections of things you can find at estate sales. I found two bins full of these cheap plastic toys. I wasn’t even sure what they were initially, though I’ve since discovered that they are cake toppers. Most of them appear to have been produced by the Wilton company in the 1960s and 1970s. Though, honestly, I haven’t put that much research into it. I’ll probably sell this stuff on eBay, but it seemed to fascinating a collection not to share. Enjoy this collection of vintage Wilton Cake Toppers
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Howard Johnson's Fudge Papercraft

Howard Johnson's Fudge Candy Wrapper Papercraft
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Click on the image above for a full sized PDF to print.
My first papercraft in a long time. Sorry you papercraft fans have had to wait so long! I’ll add several more before the Christmas.
This is a recreation of the Howard Johnson’s fudge bar from the 1950s. I don’t have a lot of information about either the candy or the dimensions of the wrapper, so I’m kind of leaving it to you to decide what to do with it.
My idea was to print it, wrap a piece of my own fudge in it and give it away as a stocking stuffer. Think of this as mini wrapping paper, for the retro candy lover.
If you print this page without shrinking or enlarging it, the wrapper will come out 7 by 5.2 inches. To completely cover a piece of chocolate, I would cut the candy to about 4 by 2 inches, keeping in mind that the thickness of the candy will also reduce coverage. If your candy is too thick, I’d cut it even smaller. Of course, you can always scale up the image and print it larger than what I’ve got here.
Have fun!

The Empress Lilly – Walt Disney World


Here’s an article I wrote for Mouseplanet.com back in the early 2000s about Walt Disney’s Empress Lilly restaurant, called “The Queen of Lake Buena Vista“.

Food Truck Round-up at Fashion Square

The food truck craze has hit Orlando and is delivering a lot of delectable eats to the locals. In a town dominated by chains, it’s refreshing to see so many local independent food mongers plying their trade in this way. This isn’t carnival food either. These trucks are delivering some really high quality food. Everything from Luther Burgers to Korean BBQ Tacos. On a daily basis, these trucks are parked at strategic spots around town, but several evenings a week, they gather at specific spots to take a unified stand. These events bring in a lot of local traffic. My wife and I have hit the Lake Lily Round-Up (Tuesday nights) twice, and today we were at the big round-up in the back of the Fashion Square Mall parking lot. 
Personally, I prefer Lake Lily Tuesday nights to the Fashion Square Round-up. It’s true that while there were even more food trucks at Fashion Square than what I’m used to, the Lake Lily location is just a much smoother jive, and includes a good deal more comfortable dining space (if you walk around to the other side of the lake.) What follows after the cut are some photos of the trucks. I only got photos of about half of them, unfortunately. Missing are the Korean Taco Box trucks, The Brisket Bus, The Crooked Spoon, and others.

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Orlando Food in the 1970s, Pt. 2


This is another bunch of ads from the Orlando Sentinel food sectionals from 1972. Check the original article here. Above is an advert for Sweden House. My love for “All You Can Eat Buffets” knows know boundaries. Of course, back then it was called a “Smorgasbord”. I’m not sure which is the classier moniker. These places were all over Florida in the 60s and 70s. I hope they had Swedish meatballs. If Ikea had all you can eat meatballs, they’d have to wheel me out on one of those HÅVET chair beds.

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Retro Florida Menu – Aunt Hattie's Chicken in the Woodpile

aunt hattie's restaurant florida
I found this menu for Aunt Hattie’s Chicken in the Woodpile on eBay a few years ago. It’s especially neato because it’s autographed by Edward “Uncle Ed” Boore, husband of Aunt Hattie and founder of the restaurant. Aunt Hattie’s was opened in 1939 by Ed and Hattie Boore who had previously run a fruit stand. It closed in 1985. The full history of the restaurant is recounted by Scott Taylor Hartzell in this excellent St. Petersburg Times article.
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