Hopkins Academy

Valentine’s Day Hearts

In Features, News on February 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Besides chocolate, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts are one of the most popular candy to enjoy on Valentine’s Day .  These Valentine’s Day favorites have been used from everything from marriage proposals to cute valentines to cake decorating to just plain eating. While the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts only date back to 1902, the sugar hearts date all the way back to when Abraham Lincoln was still president. The concept for these candies came from small, crisp candies made from sugar and flour that were formed in the shape o a cockle or scallop shell, which contained mottoes printed on think pieces of colored paper and rolled up inside.

Then, in 1860, Daniel Chase, brother of New England Confectionery Company’s founder Oliver Chase, began to print the messages directly onto the candy. Chase began printing the messages first with hand tools. When this felt tedious, he invented a machine which both cut and  printed the words on the candies. The “ink” used to print on the candies was made from vegetable coloring, which was usually red. Adults qucikly became entertained with the hearts, passing them around parties and weddings.

The candies which are sold today began back in 1902. In the early 1990’s, New England Confectionery Company’s vice president, Walter Marshall, got the idea to update the sayings on the hearts each year, as well as toss out the old ones. “Modern” sayings such as “Fax Me”, “Call Me”, and “E-mail Me” were now being printed on the candies. Consumers all over America responded to the newly revised candies by submitting their own sayings. Everyone from lovers to school kids began creating and sending in their own messages to be printed on the hearts. Now, for the 145th anniversary, the company is revealing brand-new hearts with all new expressions created and selected entirely by the American public.

So, if you could send in your own saying to be printed on a conversation heart this Valentine’s Day, what would it say? Leave your phrases in the comments!

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