Glass candy containers were originally designed as treasure-filled toys or souvenirs; they still attract collectors nearly a century after they were introduced. When asked Jim Olean how he started his collection of glass candy containers, he said in the fall of 1985, I went out into the woods near my house in search of wild mushrooms. Despite my search for mushrooms, I found an old dump. There was a small glass candlestick telephone, a dog, and a Santa without a head. These items were taken home, washed, and placed on a shelf in our game room. My uncle, who collects many old things, came over to visit me one day. He saw the glass items I showed him. I was told they were made about 30 minutes away, that they held candy, and that they were made of glass. It was a novelty that a toy and candy were all in one!” Since they were found in the dump, all the parts that came with them were gone. If I went to the local antique flea market, then I could find an all-original one, according to my uncle. The next spring, when the flea markets opened, I went to the best one in town. In the same dump, I also discovered a candlestick telephone. But this one was 100% original like the day it was made, some thirty years ago! My $15 purchase went on the shelf with the one I bought from the dump. Even the candy was still intact on the telephone, which was a far cry from the one from the dump. Due to this, I purchased as many as were available. Having made that purchase, I did not realize how far it would go!
History of glass candy containers
Where and when this industry began is somewhat dubious. There is some proof that glass toy sweets holders were delivered as right on time as the last part of the 1860s. The initially archived model was the 1876 Liberty Bell, delivered by Croft, a confectioner from Philadelphia, PA. Croft created candy on the grounds of the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Fair and sold them in a glass gift Liberty Bell. Many more likely than not been sold, as this 145-year-old holder isn’t uncommon and can be found for under $100 today.
The focal point of the glass toy sweets holder industry was Jeannette, PA, a humble community outside of Pittsburgh, PA. It became home to many glass organizations as a result of the spotless consuming petroleum gas that was found there in the last part of the 1880s. The sweets holder industry didn’t take off until George West, President of Westmoreland Glass, got included. In 1906, his organization began to patent glass toy sweets compartments for creation. These early Westmoreland holders were straightforward in plan and had a metal conclusion. Plans included trunks, bags, tickers, and horns made in milk glass. They were finished with paint and sold as keepsakes, denoting a year or spot.
How many different glass candy container designs were produced over time?
For around 100 years, about 550 distinctive glass treats compartments were delivered by no less than 13 organizations including vintage glass candy containers. A few compartments are extremely normal, while others are astoundingly uncommon, with just a couple of known models. I’ve been gathering these for a very long time and have most, yet not all, of them. No gatherer, past or present, has had the option to secure each model. It’s simply excessively hard.
In the broadest sense, current costs can go from USD 5 to $5,000, with the state of the compartment fundamentally impacting its worth. Costs expanded throughout the long term and topped around 2006. With the approach of web purchasing and selling, and eBay specifically, costs descended
Collecting Antique Halloween Candy Containers
Sweet treats and candy are the most collected of Halloween items by children traveling from house to house when they are trick-or-treating. Candy is not a durable item that makes a practical collectible. However, the containers children use during trick-or-treating to gather candy are highly prized collectibles.
In the early 1900s Halloween candy containers were produced in Japan and Germany. During this same time period trick-or-treating in the United States was spreading from the northeast, an area largely populated by British immigrants, to other parts of the country. Children required containers to collect their sweet treats and candy. The candy containers imported from Japan and Germany met this need.
Candy Containers From Germany
The majority of German candy containers were crafted of composition or papier-mâché. Others were made of cardboard, wood, or plaster. Halloween candy containers were produced in the forms of cats, ghosts, jack-lanterns, and devils. The top of the container typically included a hat or the head of the figure. When this top was opened the candy could be deposited into the bottom where it remained protected when the top was replaced. Candy containers were produced in sizes ranging from 2 inches to greater than 12 inches.
Candy Containers From Japan
By the 1930s Japan was a major contributor to the importation of candy containers to the United States. The containers produced in Japan were made of bisque, celluloid, and glass. Some containers came ready filled with candy, others required filling with homemade treats. Prior to 1930 containers from Japan were marked simply Japan or Germany. After 1930 new laws passed by the United States required imported items be marked “Made in” followed by the name of the country.
Candy Containers From the United States
The ushering in of the 1940s and continuing through the 1950s saw the production of a small number of commercially issued trick-or-treat bags. Bags with merchant messages related to Halloween were often used for the collection of candy on Halloween and then discarded. The infrequency with which these bags survived makes them collectible.
Continuing into the 1960s hard plastic containers were produced in the United States. The containers typically were made in bright orange and black. Most were crafted in the form of a pumpkin although containers in the form of cats and witches have been discovered.
Deciding What to Collect
Candy containers from Germany are the most prized and also the most expensive. As the German containers became more difficult to find and afford, collectors turned to those made in Japan. The most plentiful and affordable containers are those made of plastic in the United States. The plastic containers can be found at flea markets and yard sales and priced inexpensively. Noncollectors of Halloween items do not see the potential value in these hard plastic containers.
Candy containers from Germany and Japan have been reproduced within the last 20 years. Many of the reproductions originate from China. At first glance and to the inexperienced collector, the reproductions may be difficult to distinguish from the early authentic containers. Characteristics that distinguish the originals from reproduction include paint colors that appear brighter than the original paint, worn paint that is in unexpected or unusual places. Original containers would be expected to show wear on high points, such as the top, the handle, the bottom. Lastly, if the price seems too good to be true, it is likely a reproduction. When considering purchasing any antique it is best to do some research and if possible visit places or dealers who have authentic collections. Most collectors are happy to share the information.