Those cute little chalky snippets of confectionary sentiment. Who doesn’t love looking at the cute messages on a conversation heart?
Did you know that NECCO (the New England Confectionery Company) began producing stamped candies in 1866? That’s one year after the Civil War ended! An invention from 1847 called the lozenge cutter by Oliver Chase revolutionized the candy industry in the United States. NECCO printed messages on their candies over the next 2 decades, and the earliest candies were different shapes back then: baseballs, watches, postcards and horseshoes. NECCO started printing the Sweethearts conversation hearts (as we know them) in 1902.
A lot has changed since then, including the way people communicate. Sweethearts with classic sayings like “SWEET TALK” and “MARRY ME,” have been replaced with sayings like “TWEET ME” and “CRAZY 4 U.” At one time, NECCO distributed Sweethearts with outdated sayings like “DIG ME” and the cheerful “YOU ARE GAY”, but they have been discontinued. NECCO says that creating text for their candies can be tricky. The new sayings can’t be “offensive, distasteful, or too wordy,” according to Walter Marshall, retired NECCO vice president.
I’ve always loved Necco candies, especially the wafers. This is in part that I grew up with Necco as a nickname for Nicole. Yes they’re chalky, and I know that not everybody likes them, but both Necco wafers and Sweethearts hold a sweet part of nostalgia in my life.
Do you love (or despise) conversation hearts? And do you like this infographic? With my sentimentality for conversation hearts, I urged my creative director at work to produce this graphic. Pretty awesome, right?
Thanks, Joseph, for humoring me.