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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!

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!

Illustration – "Would You Like a Jelly Baby?"

would you like a jelly baby illustration doctor who
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Would You Like A Jelly Baby?” – Original art by Jason Snyder.
An illustration I finished recently. I’ve been obsessed with retro candy packaging recently. This is the Jelly Babies packaging used during parts of the 1970s and 1980s. Also, I couldn’t help throwing references to the Tardis. My wife suggested that I indicate the tail end of Tom Baker’s scarf on the table. Maybe a 2.0 version of this, just for Who geeks.
This was done completely in Illustrator and Photoshop. No 3d software was used in the final composition, though I did use Sketchup to create the perspective reference.

Update – I’m offering this as a free digital wallpaper. Check it out!