Uncommon Knowledge: How old is your sweetheart?

That sweet, heart-shaped candy you’re about to pop in your mouth has a history that dates back over a hundred-and-fifty years. In 1847, an English immigrant named Oliver Chase invented a press that cut out candy discs called “hub wafers.” Not to be outdone, Chase’s brother Daniel invented a machine that stamped messages directly onto the candy. Initially, the younger Chase’s conversational confections were cut into “cockles”—a scalloped shell shape that was large enough for a brief message. His company went on to produce candies in the form of horseshoes, baseballs and more, until finally, in 1901, the now-familiar heart shape appeared. It has been sweetening Valentine’s Days ever since.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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