The Low-down on Lollipops

The traditional lollipop is the hard candy on a stick. But nowadays, more modern and novelty lollipops are on the market. There are some with hard candy on rings and as pendants on necklaces; others have a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. There are also lollipops that contain a chocolate or bubble gum surprise in the center while some can even glow. Some people say that at least some form of the traditional lollipop existed since the 1800s and in that time frame, there were a lot of stories made about the invention of the lollipop. Charles Dickens, along with other authors in his time, describes a certain sweet lozenge in their stories, although it has no stick. It is also believed that little pieces of hard candy were put on the ends of children's pencils for them to enjoy during the time of the Civil War.

A man named George Smith claimed that he invented the first modern lollipop in 1908. He said that his reason for the idea of putting a stick on hard candy was to make the candy easier to handle and eat. The name 'lollipop' came from his favorite racehorse, Lolly Pop and had it trademarked. His Lollipops sold very well until the Great Depression. During this time however, he stopped production and lost the trademark for the name 'lollipop'.

Also in 1908, a manufacturing company called Racine Confectioners Machinery Company was called on by an East Coast candy maker to make a certain machine that would be able to produce hard candy while inserting a stick in it. This was when the Racine, Wis., manufacturing company claimed that they created the first lollipop making machine. The machine they created automated and sped up the lollipop making process and was able to generate at least forty lollipops in a single minute.

However, in 1916, another man named Samuel Born claimed of having invented the first lollipop making machine. Samuel Born was able to automate the lollipop making process by creating the "Born Sucker Machine". This machine could automatically insert a stick into hard candy. Because of the stick feature, the confection soared in sales and popularity resulting in the rapidly growing and independent manufacture of lollipops in California. As a reward for his invention, Samuel Born was given the keys to the city of San Francisco.

The process of making a lollipop is simple and very similar to how most candy products are made but with an added step. The first step is when the candy makers place ingredients like sugar and corn syrup into boilers where they are mixed and melted together. When cooked, the desired colors and flavors are added to the hot mix. The soft and heated candy is then poured out on surfaces where batch rollers press the soft candy into the desired shapes. Modern lollipops often have different shapes and sizes and the batch rollers are altered to form the desired lollipop head. The rollers form the heads of the lollipops and then sticks are inserted into them. When the sticks are in place, the soft candy is cooled to harden and secure the sticks. These are then individually wrapped, packaged and prepared for shipping to candy stores around the country.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Candy