History of Necco Wafers
In 1847, a young English immigrant and progressive thinker, Oliver Chase, invented the first American candy machine, a lozenge cutter. After a period of initial success selling his exciting new candy, he joined forces with brother, Silas Edwin and founded Chase and Company, the pioneer member of the NECCO family.
In 1901, Chase and Company merged with both Forbes, Hayward & Company and Wright & Moody to officially form the New England Confectionary Company, or NECCO as it is affectionately known. Over the years, NECCO prospered and produced many well-known products, but its success was propelled by its most beloved candy: Necco Wafers.
Due to its enduring popularity, the original recipe for the Necco Wafer has remained essentially unchanged over the years. The Wafers today are still made in the same original eight flavors of chocolate, licorice, cinnamon, lemon, lime, orange, wintergreen and clove. The ingredients are simply sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, colorings and flavorings.
From the time of their creation, Necco Wafers have been enjoyed the world over. In 1913, explorer Donald MacMillan took Necco Wafers on his Arctic explorations, using them for nutrition and as rewards for Eskimo children. Later in the 1930s, Admiral Richard E. Byrd took two and a half tons of Necco Wafers on an expedition to the South Pole, which amounted to about a pound a week for each of his men during their two year stay in the Antarctic.
During World War II the U.S. Government requisitioned a major portion of the production of Necco Wafers. Since the candy doesn't melt and is difficult to break during transit, it was perfect for shipping overseas to the troops.
Though they were first created some time ago, Necco Wafers have stood the test of time. Every day new fans discover their sweetness while longtime loyal fans relish the feelings of nostalgia that come with unwrapping and savoring each Wafer in every roll.
Today, approximately four billion Necco Wafers are produced which is enough to wrap around the world...twice!
In addition to simply savoring the sweetness, creative Necco Wafer fans have invented various additional uses for Wafers over the years. They have been used as poker chips, for First Communion practice and as bulls-eyes at target ranges. If only Oliver Chase could have known back then the imagination of future Necco Wafer fans.