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.