The History of Sweethearts Candy
By: Katie Payne
Created by The New England Confectionery Company (Necco) by Boston Pharmacist Oliver Chase, conversation hearts or “Sweethearts” are a Valentine's Day staple. Oliver Chase originally stumbled upon his sweethearts discovery when trying to invent a machine that could cut lozenges with ease. The candies originally took a scallops shell shape, similar to the Necco wafers of today.
A couple years later Oliver’s brother, Daniel Chase discovered that words could be stamped onto the candies with red vegetable dye. The candies started to become popular at occasions such as weddings, with popular sayings including, “Married in white, you have chosen right”.
In the early 1900s the market for the little confections grew once short and sweet sayings were popped onto them. Charming classic phrases included “Be Mine” and “Kiss me”. During the company's history it was decided that it was time to retire some phrases and introduce others. Retired sayings include “Fax Me”, “Groovy”, and “Dig Me”. Sweethearts have also stood the test of time with new phrases for the 2022 valentines day season including, “Youda best”, “Super Star” and “Go 4 it”.
Whether you love the little heart shaped candies or think they taste like chalk, there is no doubt they could spark a conversation or be given as an act of love.